In Michael B. Jordan's upcoming movie, the world is a trash fire — literally. The Black Panther villain will star in HBO's adaptation of Fahrenheit 451, an updated take on Ray Bradbury's 1953 dystopian novel of the same name. HBO has just released a trailer for the upcoming film, and it may make you want to clutch your beloved books tight tonight.
For those who have not read Bradbury's work, the title refers to the temperature upon which paper burns. Jordan plays Montag, a "fireman" — one who does the exact opposite of what we expect of the job today. Instead of putting out fires, Montag and his team attempt to destroy all semblance of books, eradicating history and ideas in order to help further the state's mission.
That mission, of course, is to stop the spread of free thinking — and control the people under its rule. However, after a harrowing experience, Montag starts to reconsider whether destroying all literature is the right thing to do. Unfortunately for Montag, that revelation puts him at odds with almost everyone in this very messed-up universe.
One person that Montag will have to go up against is his mentor Beatty, portrayed here by a delightfully diabolical Michael Shannon. Beatty has clearly drank way more Kool-Aid than Montag has and actually believes that destroying books will make the world a happier, better place. As for the casting, it was a brilliant move on HBO's part: Shannon as a villainous scientist obviously helped The Shape of Water score its Best Picture Oscar.
The new film could be HBO's answer to Hulu's Emmy-winning The Handmaid's Tale, which itself was based on Margaret Atwood's own dystopian novel. As disturbing as it is to watch a society that resembles our darkest nightmare made into reality, at least we have characters like Montag getting ready to burn it all down.
Check out the new trailer below:
The film heads to HBO on May 19.