HBO has some time to fill prior to their multiple ‘Game of Thrones’ spinoffs and one of the releases on the block is a modern take of Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451‘. As all things that HBO likes to do, Michael Shannon who is starring in it has described what they’re doing as “gritty and dark”. While many films seem to go this route lately, HBO has long been able to pull off that style and make it not seem a rehash of everything else on the market.
We know that it will star Shannon as well as Michael B. Jordan, Sofia Boutella, and Laura Harrier (‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’) with a script being written and directed by Ramin Bahrani (‘At Any Price’,’99 Homes’). The novel revolved around an American society where books are outlawed and a new breed of “firemen” exist whose job are to burn any that are found. We follow a fireman who loses faith in what they’re doing and decides that saving this knowledge is what he should be doing. Bradbury himself has stated that the original intent was about the threat of book burning during the McCarthy era but later would go on to say that it was a commentary on mass media reducing our society’s interest in reading.
Clearly, with multiple interpretations there are a few ways to go with this and throwing in a political aspect could easily happen with how torn our society can be these days.
We haven’t heard much about the direction that they’re taking the film past that, however in a recent interview Shannon did share a few choice details as:
“It seems like a good time to revisit the material. Ramin’s definitely pumped it up a bit, modernized it. It’s pretty gritty and dark, not quite as pristine as the Truffaut version. And he really focuses on the relationship between Montag and Beatty… It’s something that I think Ramin revisits a lot even though He’s obviously very socially conscious in telling these kinds of stories about the world he revisits this relationship.”
Part of me loves the material as is, part of wonders if the thought of burning books will also include digital media such as kindles. There are a lot of ways the story could be changed and I just hope they don’t go somewhere that we’ll all be annoyed at.
Are you looking forward to HBO’s take on ‘Fahrenheit 451’? What do you think will be changed to modernize the tale? Share your thoughts below!