According to Sydney Pollack, who is part of Mirage: "We would just desperately love for that film to be something that reaches more people... We haven't gotten locked into making it yet, but we're working hard at trying to get it going." The director of Tootsie is trying to reduce cinema down to its story. Sure, it would be great to get the film to reach more people, but it can't if you're going to remake it! I'm surprised that a filmmaker would use such reductive reasoning. If a film's power is all in its screenplay, then screenwriters would have a lot more power in Hollywood.
We're also talking about a story concerning the German Stasi! It's not like this is a story about people and some life struggles they are faced with. (Unless they plan to make this a Patriot Act re-visioning, which might be even worse.) Besides, will that many more people see the movie if they don't have to read subtitles? It's not some huge thriller or crazy action piece. The film is only getting a limited run, so from the get-go the audience would be bigger on a remake because there is a larger opportunity. Perhaps the efforts and money should be put into letting Lives reach a wider audience. According to Variety, after three weeks in a limited run, the feature has grossed $1.3 million.