The always excellent actors Michael Shannon and Michael B. Jordan are once again at their best in HBO's first look at its upcoming TV movie Fahrenheit 451. Both of the Michaels absolutely shine in this creepy trailer, and their combined intensity is almost as bright as the near-constant flames destroying all of the literature throughout the promo. Bibliophiles, be warned that this can be hard to watch.
Wow. HBO really hit the lottery landing both Michael Shannon and Michael B. Jordan for this TV film. (Not to mention the rest of the cast.) Jordan's presence is especially awesome for HBO, as the actor is red-hot in Hollywood for his performance in Black Panther, and his popularity will likely still be intact in May when Fahrenheit 451 makes its premiere. Jordan's Guy Montag shows little sign of the character Ray Bradbury's novel eventually portrays him to be, and while we can assume he'll begin to question his book-burning crusade, the trailer shows him firing on all anti-book cylinders. Shannon's Captain Beatty, whose distaste for books is only matched by his seemingly iron grip on Montag, obviously plays an inspirational role for Montag's story.
This trailer gives both Michael Shannon and Michael B. Jordan their own separate stand-out moments, but the moment where they're face-to-face looks absolutely electrifying. Shannon is plopping his hand down on the open flame and Jordan is saying, "I want to burn," and displaying the craziest eye a spoon-fed book hater could ever muster, and we're all in on watching the full scenes as soon as possible. Hopefully it'll be just one of many scenes between the actors share, and if Shannon and Jordan are half as good throughout the film as they were in that scene, Fahrenheit 451 is bound to receive widespread acclaim.
Another interesting point here is that Fahrenheit 451 supplies a modernized world that extends beyond what author Ray Bradbury could've imagined in 1953. Virtual reality bars, holographic images, and am I wrong, or did Michael Shannon's Beatty say they destroyed the Internet of old? Is an Internet devoid of information just non-stop YouTube unboxing videos and cake fails? It will be cool if some of those big changes are explored in this TV film, although if they aren't, the scope of the original story is still solid enough to carry this tale. Especially as seen through modern eyes.
HBO's television film adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 is written by Ramin Bahrani and Amir Naderi, and will also feature appearances by actors like Sofia Boutella, Laura Harrier, Martin Donovan and YouTuber Lilly Singh. This will be Bahrani's second collaboration with Michael Shannon, with the two first collaborating on Bahrani's film 99 Homes. Bahrani is also a co-executive producer alongside Michael B. Jordan.