HBO is tackling a re-imagining of Ray Bradbury’s classic dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 with Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon as its stars.
Written and directed by Ramin Bahrani, the TV movie is set in a near future, in which books and all forms of literature have been banned and only the media rules. Guy Montag (Jordan) is a fireman whose job it is to burn any remaining books found – and the houses that are hiding them. Shannon plays Montag’s boss and “mentor” Captain Beatty, who seems to take particular pleasure in his job.
After a chance encounter with a young woman named Clarisse (Sofia Boutella), however, Montag’s point of view changes as he begins to question his actions and how it affects society. Montag ends up hiding books himself and when discovered, runs for his life.
The HBO film looks to be well cast, with Shannon playing a government baddie once again. He and Bahrani worked together on the indie drama 99 Homes, while Jordan is hot off his villainous turn in Black Panther. Fahrenheit 451 also stars Laura Harrier, Keir Dullea, Martin Donovan, Grace Lynn Kung, and Jane Moffatt.
Watch the sneak peek above!
Bradbury’s 1953 novel followed George Orwell’s 1949 equally haunting novel, 1984, with both authors imagining a future world in which tyranny rules over individuality and freedom of speech and thought. Of course, we now realize how ahead of their time Bradbury and Orwell were, with both novels still having relevance to this day. Throw in Margaret Atwood’s bone-chilling novel A Handmaid’s Tale about the subjugation and suppression of women and their rights, and you’ve got a trifecta.
I guess this kind of material seems to be striking a chord with the gen pop right now, especially in the Trump world we currently find ourselves in. Let’s just hope it was way to warn us, rather than to guide us.