For such a classic and enduring story, it seems surprising that Ray Bradbury’s dystopian-future novel Fahrenheit 451 hasn’t been the recipient of more on-screen adaptations. Thus far, there has been François Truffaut’s 1966 feature film, starring Oskar Werner and Julie Christie, but that’s it. This state of affairs looks set to change though, with Deadline reporting that not only has HBO won the rights to screen an adaptation, but already picked a director for the project in the form of Ramin Bahrani.
A relative newcomer, Bahrani has nevertheless already garnered both acclaim and recognition for recession drama 99 Homes (starring Michael Shannon, Laura Dern and Andrew Garfield), making his hiring an understandable choice.
It’s been 50 years since Truffaut’s adaptation was released, but the story’s timeless relevance means this shouldn’t matter. Taking place in a future where all forms of literature are banned, with stockpiles regularly being destroyed by ‘firemen’, its themes of censorship and individuality have stood the test of time. It’ll have to do a lot to top the 1966 original, but we’ll be interested to see what direction it takes.
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