The book portrays a future where books are outlawed and “Firemen” like Guy Montag (Jordan) and his boss Captain Beatty (Shannon) are charged with setting them ablaze — the title refers to the temperature at which paper supposedly catches fire. However, when Montag meets a free-thinking new neighbor, Clarisse, he starts to question the course of his life.
Bradbury published the novel back in 1953, during a time when book burning was actually a thing in the US. It became an instant classic as a meditation on censorship and freedom of expression, much as Orwell’s 1984 is synonymous with pervasive government surveillance. The only adaptation is French director François Truffaut’s 1966 adaption, a film that did become a cult hit but isn’t exactly widely known.
It’s a bit surprising that Fahrenheit 451, one of the best-known and liveliest tales of a potentially bleak future, has yet to be adapted since then. With HBO and Jordan behind it (as star and executive producer), there’s a solid chance we’ll finally see it come to life again and the timing couldn’t be more perfect.