Michael B. Jordan And Michael Shannon Board Fahrenheit 451

Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury's classic tome about burning books originally came to the screen back in 1966. There was talk of a new version several years ago (with Mel Gibson and then Frank Darabont considering the idea), but HBO won an auction for the rights last year and set 99 Homes' Ramin Bahrani to write and direct. In turn he has now hired Homes' Michael Shannon to star alongside Michael B. Jordan.

Bahrani is still developing the film, co-writing with Amir Naderi, but according to Variety, HBO is committed to getting it made. It'll be set in a time where media has become the ultimate opiate, history is outlawed and "firemen" torch books. Pure fiction, surely? Er...

In this world, Jordan will be Montag, a young member of the fire team who turns against his training and his society, and battles his mentor Beatty (Shannon) as he tries to regain his humanity.

When the late Bradbury wrote the book in 1953, it was considered a response to McCarthyism and the fear that anti-Communist paranoia running rampant through the United States would lead to book burning, as had been the case in Nazi Germany. In later years, though, he turned his indictment towards television. "The problem in our country," he suggested, "isn't with books being banned, but with people no longer reading. Look at the magazines, the newspapers around us – it's all junk, all trash, tidbits of news. The average TV ad has 120 images a minute. Everything just falls off your mind. You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." Or stay on Twitter...

The movie will likely premiere on the small screen in the States, but could hit cinemas here. That's a ways off, though, and there's no set date for it to arrive yet.

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