Ramin Bahrani heads from 99 Homes to Fahrenheit 451


by Phil de Semlyen |
Published on

It may not have made him household name but Ramin Bahrani’s tough recession drama 99 Homes definitely grabbed the attention of Hollywood’s deal-makers. According to Deadline, HBO has just won out in an auction to secure the rights to Ray Bradbury’s enduring sci-fi satire Fahrenheit 451 for Bahrani to write and direct.

Fahrenheit 451 has been on Warner Bros. development pile for more than a decade. At different points, Mel Gibson and Frank Darabont were attached, but it’s now the domain of a filmmaker who’s clearly excised by the state of the world. Bradbury’s novel, set in a future dystopia where books (and presumably Kindles) are banned, will give him plenty to get his teeth into.

Named after the temperature at which paper burns, Fahrenheit 451 is based in a society in which firemen don’t put out fires but start them. In order to retain control over thought, books are confiscated and incinerated by the powers-that-be.

The book, of course, was previously adapted by François Truffaut, a movie he co-wrote with his Day For Night scribe Jean-Louis Richard. It starred Oskar Werner as the jaundiced hero, Guy Montag, who finds himself seduced by the magic of words and the equal, if perhaps even slightly greater magic of Julie Christie. Anton Diffring was his antagonist, a fireman who combines the rage of Hugh and Pugh and the unthinking obedience of Barney McGrew.

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