Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon are firemen who set fires in a new image from the set of HBO’s Fahrenheit 451, an adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic cautionary 1953 novel. Spider-Man: Homecoming star Laura Harrier and Kingsman: The Secret Service actress Sofia Boutella have also been added to the cast of the TV movie set in a futuristic dystopia where no one cares about anything but empty pleasure, mass media are used to control people’s minds – and all books have been outlawed.
In Fahrenheit 451, Black Panther and Creed star Michael B. Jordan plays Guy Montag, a fireman whose job is not to extinguish fires but to enforce the will of the state by burning the possessions of residents who have broken the law by owning books. After meeting an ill-fated young woman named Clarisse who awakens his sense of rebellion, Montag steals a forbidden piece of literature and embarks upon a dangerous and subversive path that puts him at odds with his fire chief Beatty, played by Oscar nominee Michael Shannon.
An image posted by Jordan to Instagram shows the actor in costume as Montag, using a flamethrower to perform his duties as a fireman while Shannon’s Beatty looks on. The image gives us a look at the movie’s costume design, which looks properly leathery and fascistic, and also gives a small taste of the futuristic-industrial-dystopian set design.
As formidable as Jordan looks wielding his futuristic flamethrower (which looks scuffed up and used, suggesting the film will employ a “lived-in” approach to tech and settings), he doesn’t look nearly as intimidating as Shannon who is just standing there with his arms crossed, exuding effortless authority (few actors can match Shannon when it comes to intimidation factor). In the novel, the character of Montag gradually begins to recognize the emptiness of society with its emphasis on acquiring belongings and consuming media, and Beatty becomes a threat as Montag tries to hide his subversive book-reading activities from his fire chief and the rest of the world.
With its cautionary message about the oppressive power of mass media, Fahrenheit 451 is a classic that never seems to lose its relevance, and arguably it has taken on renewed significance in the present day political climate. The book was previously adapted by Hollywood in 1966 with Julie Christie, Oskar Werner and Cyril Cusack starring and the great French auteur Francois Truffaut directing.
Fahrenheit 451 is being directed by Ramin Bahrani from a script by Bahrani and Amir Naderi. The HBO movie does not yet have an announced premiere date.
Source: Michael B. Jordan
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