Lots of people go through a dystopian fiction streak. Mine was in junior high/early high school. (And, to be honest, continues to this day.) We’ve got classics like 1984, Brave New World, and The Handmaid’s Tale. Whole new generations are getting in on the act with things like The Hunger Games and Divergent books, among many others. One of the greatest of this ilk, and one of my favorites, is Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Francois Truffaut brought it to the screen in 1966, but now HBO has an impending adaptation with a fresh new trailer.
If you’re familiar with the story, this Fahrenheit 451 trailer looks like what you expect. And I mean that as a very good thing. Out of the slew of dystopian fare, with the virulent anti-intellectual streak going on in this country right now, this particular work feels uncomfortably prescient at the moment. (It feels like we’re a scant few months away from this becoming the ugly reality.)
Set in a not-too-distant future, Fahrenheit 451—the temperature as which paper burns BTW—follows Guy Montag. He’s a carefree young firefighter. Only in this reality, firefighters don’t put out fires, they start them. Specifically, they burn books. Because knowing stuff is for dumb jerks and all books are outlawed. When he encounters a rebellious young woman, he begins to question the world around him for the first time.
Directed by Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes), Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther) takes the lead role. Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water) looks perfectly cast as his fire chief and good company man, Beatty. Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) fills the role of Clarisse, the woman who opens Guy’s eyes.
Just a brief glimpse, I like what we see. And if nothing else, any movie where Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon go toe-to-toe and burn stuff, has my immediate attention.
Fahrenheit 451 debuts on HBO in May.