Back in July of last year, via a Development Slate post, we mentioned that Ray Bradbury’s classic novel “Fahrenheit 451” was being developed as an HBO Films presentation. That project is apparently still a go as two lead actors have been signed on for the adaptation.
The concept was already made to film with the classic 1996 version written and directed by François Truffaut. It is a cautionary tale about censorship and the title refers to the temperature at which book paper ignites. HBO’s version has now cast Michael B. Jordan (at right) and Michael Shannon(at left) in its take. Based on Ray Bradbury’s classic novel, the TV film depicts a future where media is an opiate, history is outlawed and “firemen” burn books.
In the story, society has banned books and created firemen to seek out and burn the outlawed and dangerous items. Jordan (HBO’s THE WIRE, THE SOPRANOS and also the movie Creed) will play the protagonist Guy Montag, a young fireman who out of loyalty keeps to his task but begins to question his purpose and struggles between what is right from wrong about his job, his government and his society. Michael Shannon (Van Alden in HBO’s BOARDWALK EMPIRE and General Zod in Man of Steel) will play Captain Beatty, Montag’s mentor and boss who once was an avid reader, but no longer. Ramin Bahrani, who assists as a cowriter with Amir Naderi, is directing this HBO adaption.
There are other characters in the novel that may make it into this adaptation but no details are available yet. Characters include Montag wife, Mildred, indifferent to the oppressive world she lived in; fellow firemen like the characters Stoneman and Black and dissenters of the government and its tactics including a former English professor named Faber.
Though the work is only in its early stages with no firm commitment yet our source cites that the project is a probable go for the network. Any word on further casting or production notes will be passed on by HBOWatch.