It seems like something that you would only read when forced to for high school English class, but can you think of a better book-to-screen adaptation worth doing right now than Ray Bradbury‘s Fahrenheit 451? Okay, so George Orwell’s 1984 might make the first round draft pick, but Fahrenheit would definitely make the top three. Bradbury’s warning about the crush of culture, the dangers of distraction, and the attack on the importance of being well-informed is chock full of very ripe thematic material, which is probably why HBO has now got a lock on a new adaptation featuring a pair of very talented actors in the main roles.
According to Deadline, HBO Films has begun development on a new version of Fahrenheit 451, which has been adapted several times for the stage, but has been done only once for the screen in the form of 1966 movie written and directed by the legendary François Truffaut and starring Oskar Werner and Julie Christie. 99 Homes co-writer and director Ramin Bahrani will helm the new version, which will feature his 99 Homes star Michael Shannon alongside Creed actor Michael B. Jordan. Completing the 99 Homes reunion, Bahrani will be writing the screenplay for Fahrenheit with Amir Naderi, with whom he co-wrote the acclaimed housing crisis drama.
Bradbury’s dystopian novel was first published in 1953 and it was inspired by the growing reach of mass media through television, the House Un-American activities investigations being led by Joseph McCarthy, and, of course, the Nazi book burnings and rallies in the 1930s. In the book, firemen don’t put out fires, they start them, burning “outlawed” books in a society where information is closely controlled, and most of the public shows indifference to that fact. Jordan will play Guy Montag, a young fireman that starts questioning the need to burn books and finds an intellectual curiosity inside himself when he saves a copy of the Bible from a burning home; Shannon will play Montag’s mentor Captain Beatty.
There’s no word on when we might get the adaptation, but given the pedigree, it can’t get here soon enough. We’ll have more information on this production as it becomes available.
Source: The Mary Sue