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HBO Announces a ‘Fahrenheit 451’ Adaptation Starring Michael Shannon and Michael B. Jordan

HBO Farenheit 451
Simon & Schuster

Dystopian cinema is all the rage right now. Not only is the release of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale only a few days away, we were also recently treated to a series of synchronized screenings of 1984, the film adaptation of George Orwell’s seminal novel. While some may view this as a collective piece of cinematic snark, plenty of others are using these projects as an opportunity to open the door for increased education and awareness about media literacy, politics, and art. And while HBO may only really be interested in art and politics, it is putting one foot firmly in the dystopian game, announcing an upcoming production of Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451.

Earlier today, The Hollywood Reporter announced that HBO was currently developing a remake of Bradbury’s classic novel, with 99 Homes director Ramin Bahrani set to co-write and direct the film. Perhaps more surprising, however, was the casting announcements, with THR reporting that Michael Shannon and Michael B. Jordan had committed to star in the film. That would be a pretty impressive pairing for any blockbuster summer film, let alone an art house adaptation for a cable television channel.

While HBO has not formally begun production on the film, the article makes it sounds like the green light is all but a formality. Given the current political landscape —  where propaganda, totalitarian leaders, and an indifferent public seem to make headlines on nightly basis — it wasn’t so much a question of if Bradbury’s novel would be adapted as when. This will likely open the floodgates for a new rash of other adaptations, which might be bad news for the market but is probably good news for every struggling YA author out there whose novels touch on these themes. Here’s hoping for a quick turnaround on HBO’s latest project, as it’s a movie I wouldn’t mind seeing yesterday.

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