HBO is ready to light a fire under a new adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, casting two high-profile talents in the movie’s key roles.
Variety reports that HBO has officially put the movie adaptation into development, and they’re apparently looking to move quickly to get the project into production as soon as possible. Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon are the first names on the cast list, playing the roles of Guy Montag and Captain Beatty respectively.
First published back in 1956, Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is set in an unnamed American city at some point in the near future. It’s a time when the masses are addicted to media, most of which is spoon-fed to them by the government. Censorship reigns supreme, traces of the past are heavily modified, and the ownership of books is a high crime. Firemen (like Montag and Beatty) are tasked with hunting down and burning the few remaining books in an attempt to suppress the ideas contained within them, but when Montag meets an outgoing teenager he is forced to see the world for what it is.
Bradbury’s work has often been referenced by political commentators in the years since its release, and it would appear that HBO is looking to speed this latest adaptation through to dovetail with the rise of political activism seen in the US and other countries across the globe.
Despite its relatively straightforward plot, Fahrenheit 451 has not proven to be an easy story to adapt. Since a 1966 movie adaptation by François Truffaut, Bradbury’s book has been largely left alone by mainstream media with Mel Gibson famously owning the rights to an adaptation but giving up the ghost back in 1999.