Conflict between a government censorship diehard and the flamethrowing fireman who isn't quite sold will run rampant in the TV movie written and directed by Bahrani, who has plenty of thoughts on how to keep the sci-fi story relevant. "Because I don't want to excuse the 30, 40 years prior that that", Bahrani insisted. "I think we've been going in that direction for a long time, it's just now kind of being revealed to us more clearly".
"It was daunting to take on Bradbury because he's such a genius and a legend", said Bahrani.
"We are electing this thing in my pocket", Bahrani said, pulling out his smartphone. While all of these are incredible in their own right, few have left an impression on me as much as Fahrenheit 451. But when Bradbury wrote his book it was set in the distant future; HBO's adaptation is set in "alternate tomorrow, right here right now", Bahrani warned.
Jordan, Sofia Boutella, and Michael Shannon, the film focuses on a future American society where books are outlawed and "firemen" burn any that are found. Jordan portrays lead character Montag, a young fireman who "forsakes his world and struggles to regain his humanity as he battles his mentor, fire captain Beatty, played by Shannon", HBO announced in a press release. To Bahrani's mind, those concerns have actualized with the rise of social media and wikis and peoples' inclinations to just read headlines instead of full articles.
"Knowledge is risky. Every book is like a loaded gun", a quick clip of the show professes. There was no reason to put it in the future; it's just [set in] a unusual tomorrow. Bahrani conceptualized this new take on the futuristic society by imagining that "it wouldn't be very hard to start to manipulate and control what is on the Internet if things got more centralized". Readers Digest, quick short soundbites, destroying the concept of reading, thinking and knowledge, he said.
"We are not born equal, we must be made equal by the fire, and then we can be happy", Beatty says in one scene. In the movie, it's Sofia's character who says that to Michael.