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Burn it down: all the updates, trailers, and commentary for HBO’s Fahrenheit 451

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HBO is adapting Ray Bradbury’s classic novel Fahrenheit 451 into a film. Set in a dystopian society where books are forbidden and burned, the story follows a “firefighter” named Guy Montag (played by Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan), who begins to question the nature of his work, becoming more and more curious about the objects he’s obliged to set aflame.

Follow along for all of the updates, trailers, and commentary for the film, which airs May 19th.

  • Adi Robertson

    May 19, 2018

    Adi Robertson

    HBO’s Fahrenheit 451 turns a warning about media into a tirade against tech trends

    Michael Gibson / HBO

    Dystopian stories are often described as warnings, but they can also be Rorschach blots. Readers dive in with specific fears — about technology, society, or the future — and find an allegory to validate them. And Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s classic 1953 novel, is a perfectly adaptable cautionary tale. It’s an elegant high-concept story backed by a complicated web of broad social complaints, critiquing everything from social justice to the zipper. This might be why it’s produced two dramatically different films: one from French auteur François Truffaut in 1966, and the other from 99 Homes director Ramin Bahrani, premiering this weekend on HBO.

    As many readers likely know, the novel Fahrenheit 451 is set in a future in which books are illegal, and instead of putting out fires, “firemen” hunt down caches of literature and burn them. The protagonist is a fireman named Guy Montag, who one day smuggles a book home and reads it, setting himself on the path to knowledge and, ultimately, rebellion.

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  • Apr 5, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    Michael B. Jordan wants to know ‘why we burn’ in the new Fahrenheit 451 trailer

    HBO has released a new full-length trailer for its upcoming adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451, which shows off the world’s hellish dystopian society in which books are banned and burned.

    The film will star Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan as Guy Montag, a fireman who comes to question his job, while Shape of Water’s Michael Shannon plays Captain Beatty, the captain of his station. 99 Houses director Ramin Bahrani wrote and directed the movie.

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  • Mar 25, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    HBO will air its film adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 on May 19th

    Image: HBO

    HBO’s upcoming adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 finally has a release date: May 19th, 2018, according to Variety. The network announced the project last year, which stars Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan and The Shape of Water’s Michael Shannon. Ramin Bahrani (99 Houses) directed and co-wrote the film.

    Bradbury published the novel in 1953, expanding several shorter works about censorship and authoritarianism. In this future, books are banned, viewed as dangerous to society for the ideas that impart. The government employs a task force of people, called Firemen, to set the books on fire when they’re discovered. The novel and film follows one such fireman, Guy Montag, who begins to doubt his job and rebel against the current social order.

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  • Tasha Robinson

    Feb 26, 2018

    Tasha Robinson

    The first trailer for HBO’s Fahrenheit 451 is incredibly hot

    There’s no specific release date yet for HBO’s Fahrenheit 451, an adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel about a future dystopia where books are illegal, and “firemen” are special operatives who find them and burn them. But the network has just released the first full trailer for the film. With Black Panther still setting box office records, the timing is just right: Fahrenheit 451 stars Michael B. Jordan, currently on-screen as Black Panther’s memorable, celebrated villain Erik Killmonger, and his role in the new film channels a similar mesmerizing ferocity and idealism. Jordan plays protagonist Guy Montag, a dedicated fireman who begins to have doubts about his profession, and about the government that has outlawed books as inherently dangerous because they preserve and communicate ideas.

    Bradbury’s book is simultaneously caustic and melancholy. It’s a classic takedown of censorship and a gently frustrated prediction of a future where people are so absorbed into their entertainment that they don’t care about the world outside their screens. (Director Ramin Bahrani, of 99 Homes and Chop Shop, says he always regarded the book as “prophetic.”) But this trailer is all fire: the literal fire of books burning, obviously, but also the metaphorical fire of Guy’s initial fanaticism, and the self-righteous fury of his supervisor Captain Beatty, played by The Shape of Water villain Michael Shannon. There’s nothing melancholy or removed about this sneak peek, which suggests HBO’s film is going to be direct, angry, forceful, and just as politically charged as the original book. It’s set for release in May.

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  • Jan 12, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    HBO’s first teaser for Fahrenheit 451 burns everything down

    HBO has released the first teaser for its upcoming adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, revealing that the film will air sometime this spring.

    The teaser highlights the most vivid part of the novel, showing a burning copy of Crime and Punishment that’s dropped onto a pile of other controversial books, which is set on fire by a firefighter yielding a flamethrower.

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  • Apr 20, 2017

    Andrew Liptak

    HBO is adapting Fahrenheit 451 into a film starring Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon

    Yesterday, Variety reported that HBO Films is planning to adapt Ray Bradbury’s classic novel Fahrenheit 451. Michael B. Jordan (Creed) and Michael Shannon (Man of Steel) are set to star in it, while 99 Houses director Ramin Bahrani is attached to co-write and direct the film.

    The studio has only put the adaptation into development, but Variety notes that the “project is moving toward a production commitment at HBO.” If it moves forward, Jordan will play Guy Montag, the Fireman at the heart of the story, while Shannon will play his superior, Captain Beatty.

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