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Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon’s FAHRENHEIT 451 Film Looks Terrifying

Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon’s FAHRENHEIT 451 Film Looks Terrifying

Really, are any of us surprised there’s a Fahrenheit 451 film coming out in 2018? After the Year of Trump, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, Idiocracy-esque television and film has positively assaulted our screens big and small with tales of science fiction horror. So it makes sense HBO is bringing us this new adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s iconic work.

Led by Michael B. Jordan, Sofia Boutella, and Michael Shannon, the film focuses on a future American society where books are outlawed and “firemen” burn any that are found. Jordan portrays lead character Montag, a young fireman who “forsakes his world and struggles to regain his humanity as he battles his mentor, fire captain Beatty, played by Shannon,” HBO announced in a press release. Boutella (whom we all know from The Mummy and Kingsman: The Secret Service) stars as Clarisse, an informant caught between the competing interests of Montag and Beatty. The cast also includes Lilly Singh as Raven, a tabloid reporter who works with the fire department to spread the ministry’s propaganda by broadcasting its book-burning raids to fans.

“Every book is like a loaded gun,” Shannon utters in a trailer at the 2018 Television Critics’ Association Winter Press Tour, showing the prescience on the attack against education and enlightenment currently brewing in our current American society—after all, the President did try and keep a book from even being printed this year.

The film was directed by Ramin Bahrani of 99 Homes notoriety. Bahrani was instantly drawn to the material’s relevance to our modern times, even with the advent of the internet since the source material was written—which certainly changes how you have to navigate the issues held within the text. “It was one of the biggest challenges and most exciting aspects” of creating the adaptation, Bahrani explained. depicting a future where the media is an opiate, history is rewritten and “firemen” burn books.

“I will never forget reading it as a kid,” explained Boutella, “it gives you an alternative way of thinking.”

“I have always loved Ray Bradbury’s prophetic novel Fahrenheit 451,” explained Bahrani. “Two years ago, as I looked at the world around me, it seemed like the ideal time to do a modern interpretation.” However, it wasn’t an easy process, Bahrani explained, referencing how he even tried to give HBO their money back, afraid he could not accomplish the task ahead of him. But after speaking with the cast and internalizing the heart of the text, Bahrani eventually got through it.

“We started working on this a year before the election and politically,” explained Bahrani, “things are [now] going in a very strange direction, and it’s been going in that direction for awhile. … And I don’t want us to forget what Bradbury said: ‘we asked for this.’ We’re electing to give it all away to [our phones].”

Fahrenheit 451 will air on HBO in the spring of 2018. Are you looking forward to it? Let us know in the comments below.

Images: HBO

Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor, creator/host of Fangirling, and resident Khaleesi of House Nerdist. Find her on Twitter!

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