While we like to talk about how TV is in a phase where it is reviving popular TV franchises, we don’t talk about the more prominent trend, which is remaking books for TV audiences. A slew of programs on the air right now are based on books and graphic novels—AMC’s The Walking Dead, CBS’ Zoo, HBO’sGame of Thrones and the upcoming Starz series American Gods come to mind, among others. This week, we learned HBO is hoping to bring yet another novel to life, however, and this one’s a classic. Here’s what we know about Fahrenheit 451 coming to the small screen.
Recently there was a bit of a bidding war related to owning the TV rights for Fahrenheit 451. Other services, including Hulu and Legendary wanted the property, but HBO came up with the biggest bid. Deadline reports the book will be turned into a TV movie for the subscription cable channel.
Propelling the HBO version forward is Ramin Bahrani, who directed the drama 99 Homes with Michael Shannon. Bahrani will direct, executive produce and write Fahrenheit 451. Also signed on in a producing capacity are Alan Gasmer and Peter Jaysen.
A movie version of Fahrenheit 451 was in the works with Warner Bros. for more than a decade. Way back in 2008, Tom Hanks was supposed to make the science fiction movie along with director Frank Darabont. He eventually dropped out and the movie lingered in development hell for quite some time.
Now, it’s out of that hell and should theoretically be headed to the small screen. Still a TV remake of Fahrenheit 451 may not be without challenges. Ray Bradbury’s iconic work is about a world in which books have been banned and firemen burn any that our found. While the book is set in the future, presumably a TV project might have to be set in the past, as many readers find reading material using tablets, e-readers, computers and even smaller devices like cell phones these days. Still, the premise of Bradbury’s book, which warns against censorship, is absolutely still relevant. (Ironically, at one point publisher Ballantine even censored passages of Bradbury’s book.)
Projects often take some time to come together over at HBO. (And that's if they end up getting past the early development stages.) For instance, we’ve been hearing about Westworld coming together for the past couple of years. Theoretically, a TV movie should be easier to get together than a long-term series, and we’ll let you know as soon as the HBO project starts coming together. In the meantime, you can check out what the networks and streaming services have coming out this summer with our TV premiere schedule.