HBO is preparing to release a new adaptation of Ray Bradbury's classic sci-fi novel Fahrenheit 451, with Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon in the lead roles, and the latter recently described the film as a "gritty and dark" update. While that description is in keeping with just about every new film coming out right now – especially adaptations of popular material – it seems like a fitting description for the HBO movie, considering the nature of the source material and its, sadly, seemingly prescient subject matter.
The project was first announced earlier this year, with the cast of Jordan, Shannon, Sofia Boutella, and Spider-Man: Homecoming's Laura Harrier being lined up soon afterward. And with writer-director Ramin Bahrani (At Any Price, 99 Homes) on board, it sounded like a potentially ambitious new take on the material was headed to the premium channel. But after the casting announcement and a first-look image that revealed Shannon and Jordan – with the latter bearing a flamethrower his fireman character uses to burn books – there hasn't been much new information to go on.
In an interview with Collider, however, Shannon spoke briefly about Fahrenheit 451, his thoughts on the timing of the film's release, and what viewers can expect in terms of the project's look and tone. Shannon said:
"It seems like a good time to revisit the material. Ramin's definitely pumped it up a bit, modernized it. It's pretty gritty and dark, not quite as pristine as the Truffaut version. And he really focuses on the relationship between Montag and Beatty… It's something that I think Ramin revisits a lot even though He's obviously very socially conscious in telling these kinds of stories about the world he revisits this relationship."
Shannon's comments on now being a good time to revisit the material is certainly spot on, and given Bahrani's penchant for telling stories whose narratives certainly feel of the moment, Fahrenheit should make for another interesting addition to the director's work. But it's also interesting to hear Shannon discuss the emphasis Bahrani apparently puts on the dynamic between his character and Jordan's. If there's any room for greater interpretation of Bradbury's original story, it could be found in the connection between Montag and Beatty.
At the end of the interview, Shannon says he's excited to see the final product, which means it's still in post production. With the film scheduled for 2018, hopefully we'll be getting a trailer before the end of the year, so we can see exactly what it is Shannon is talking about.
Fahrenheit 451 will premiere in 2018 on HBO.