HBO‘s new TV film Fahrenheit 451 comes out later this year and is based on Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel of the same name. Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon co-star as firemen, special officers tasked with destroying every book they can find. A creepy new first-look trailer has just been released, giving us a frightening look at a future where creativity is banned.
Bradbury’s novel depicts a world of censorship and oppression, where books of any form are outlawed. Firemen patrol the cities in search of any scrap of literature (even factual) to burn. Television plays a massive role in the novel, as the illiterate population has an almost addiction-like attachment to vapid TV shows.
The trailer shows a somewhat different world to the one Bradbury imagined, one much more inspired by modern culture and technology. In the trailer we see virtual reality bars, giant holographic adverts and Shannon’s character mentions they’ve done away with the “internet of old”. We don’t know yet if these elements are just flavour, fitting the film’s strong visual style, or if they intends to explore these new features through the story.
The casting is brilliant and the timing of it couldn’t be better, as Shannon and Jordan are both in hit blockbuster films right now. Jordan will come straight from his stellar performance as Killmonger in Black Panther and Shannon only just played the villain Colonel Richard Strickland in The Shape of Water. Both are great actors and in the trailer it looks like they give intense performances as a dutiful officer and his authoritative boss.
Jordan plays protagonist and fireman Guy Montag, loyal to the regime until certain events cause him to question the society he lives in. We only get to see Montag’s fanatical side in the trailer but we can guess the doubt will finally hit him, as some of the clips with him and his boss look tense. Shannon’s Captain Beatty is a former book lover who has grown to hate them for their inconsistencies and ability to tell upsetting stories.
Sofia Boutella, Laura Harrier, Martin Donovan and Lilly Singh will also appear in the film. The adaptation is written and directed by Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes) and Amir Naderi (Vegas: Based on a True Story). Bahrani and Jordan will also executive produce the film, which airs on HBO in May.