HBO Fahrenheit 451 Trailer

Courtesy of HBO
'Fahrenheit 451'

Courtesy of HBO 'Fahrenheit 451'

An empathetic and engaged moral conscience has run through director Ramin Bahrani's filmography and looks to continue with his HBO adaptation of Ray Bradbury's seminal novel Fahrenheit 451.

In the movie, Michael B. Jordan plays Guy Montag, a fireman who suddenly becomes disillusioned with his role of censoring writing and destroying knowledge after he meets a rebellious young girl. Jordan's co-star Michael Shannon promises a "dark, gritty" take on Ray Bradbury's classic story.

Guy Montag is a fireman.

Bradbury's novel unfortunately found very real world inspiration in things like the Nazi book burnings in WWII (I've been privileged enough to visit the memorial to this horrific act, and I won't lie, it was a rather emotional experience for a bibliophile like me), but it's also incredibly political, addressing things like freedom of speech and ideas, and the government controlling what you know. Montag works as a fireman...not putting fires out, but burning books.

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While Bahrani quips that he's baffled that a studio paid him money "to have Michael B. Jordan read Dostoyevsky and Kafta on the toilet", he sees clearly how this modernized take on Fahrenheit 451 is relevant in today's world. Now the network has offered up a teaser trailer, albeit one without actual footage from the film.

The teaser begins with a close-up image of a book in flames. That goes to what's in Bradbury's novel that's different than the other classic - 1984 - Bradbury says, we asked for this... While all of these are awesome in their own right, few have left an impression on me as much as Fahrenheit 451. "I think we've been going in that direction for a long time, it's just now kind of being revealed to us more clearly".

The movie script for "Fahrenheit 451" has something like stage directions, but it's more like narration, Cherne said. Perhaps there's a certain irony in a TV movie of Fahrenheit 451, a book that basically viewed TV as evil. Be sure to tell us all of your thoughts in the comments! To Bahrani's mind, those concerns have actualized with the rise of social media and wikis and peoples' inclinations to just read headlines instead of full articles.

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