Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is a sci-fi classic, a dystopia-set cautionary tale about the dangers of allowing governments to suppress information.
The title refers to the temperature at which paper ignites - the novel revolves around a ‘fireman’, Montag, employed by a censorious iron-fisted government to burn books.
Written during McCarthyism, when anything that even vaguely alluded to being anything other than 110% heterosexual and capitalist was the subject of censorship, it’s also a stark warning about the dangers of mass media consumption, both in terms of marginalising literature and technology interfering with personal relationships - ironically, it’s now being adapted into an HBO film that will be watched by millions of people, blogged about like mad and read about on loads of phones.
The first images from HBO’s adaptation have just been released. Shall we have a look, yeah?
First up, it’s Michael B. Jordan as Montag, fireman and protagonist of the novel. At first (there’s no need to give the whole plot away) he’s happy enough to be a part of the system, turning up and burning books without ever questioning his actions.
Jordan is also an executive producer on the film, and between this, Black Panther and a rumoured Matrix sequel, is set to have a pretty great 2018.
Hey, do you think Michael Shannon is playing a goodie or a baddie? HAHA LOL JK HE’S A BIG BAD BADDIE ISN’T HE. Nobody scowls like Michael Shannon, who portrays Montag’s boss and mentor Beatty, a book-hating shit-talking fist-clenching bad’n.
Sofia Boutella (from Kingsman and the Tom Cruise The Mummy) plays Clarisse, an informant who is key to making Montag question what he does for a living. In the original book she’s 16 years old, but it looks like they might be going for a slightly more romantic relationship between her and Montag this time around.
The dude on the left is co-writer and director Ramin Bahrani. “Bradbury’s novel was set in the future where he was predicting having screens on the wall that you could interact with,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
“Social media and supercomputers like my phone are real now. [The film] is not set in the distant future, like Bradbury’s novel, but an alternate tomorrow where technology is here right now.”
HBO have also released a teaser trailer for the film, set to be broadcast at an as-yet-TBC time this spring.
The novel’s first line, “It was a pleasure to burn”, has not only become iconic, it’s what someone could say if they downloaded this and put it on a CD-R for their parents. Yeah, cheers. A CD-R joke, there.