Fahrenheit 451 is one of the pinnacles of sci-fi literature. Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel has been adapted a number of times, most notably as a film in 1966 by master filmmaker François Truffaut. There have been a number of stage adaptations but there has never been another cinematic interpretation for over half a century. HBO is rectifying that with a new movie adaptation that sounds absolutely fantastic.
Casting announcements went out and revealed that Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Black Panther) will be playing the lead character of Guy Montag, a government employee who hunts down books and burns them. If that wasn’t great enough, Michael Shannon (Man of Steel, Boardwalk Empire) has also been cast as Montag’s mentor. Both of them are incredible actors and will do the material justice. But the best news of all? The director is Ramin Bahrani, the same director who worked with Michael Shannon on the solid drama 99 Homes. Bahrani deserves to break into the big time and this could be his shot.
HBO Knows How to Do Sci-Fi
What really makes this cool is HBO and their commitment to strong science fiction. Westworld was the best science fiction production of last year and became a sensation. Although Fahrenheit 451 is not going to be a series, it’s an immensely popular property and a new feature film is something fans have wanted for a long time. Considering that heady science fiction rarely hits at the box office, it’s actually better that Fahrenheit 451 is headed to the small screen. It gives the movie the opportunity to reach a wider (and more invested) audience. If it went to theaters, it would probably get lost in the shuffle. Plus, it would have to make some blockbustery changes that aren’t really appropriate for the material.
Westworld proved that audiences are ready to accept some brainy sci-fi that has a darker edge and some clear social commentary going on. Not everything has to be a Transformers movie or Guardians of the Galaxy for people to be interested in the genre. And with a cast and crew as illustrious as this, it’s likely that Fahrenheit 451 is going to make as big a splash as Westworld did. Maybe even bigger.