No Books Were Harmed in the Making of the Fahrenheit 451, Except the Ones That Were - For Reading Addicts

No Books Were Harmed in the Making of the Fahrenheit 451, Except the Ones That Were

By May 18, 2018 Adaptations, News

Way back in 2016, it was announced that HBO had begun developing a film adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic book Fahrenheit 451. Fans eagerly anticipated the film and earlier this year we got to see the first official trailer. There has been plenty of buzz for the film since then and now we’re only hours away from the film’s release.

The film stars Michael B. Jordan as protagonist Guy Montag and Michael Shannon has been cast as Captain Beatty. Fahrenheit 451 is set in a dystopian future where ‘firemen’ collect books and then incinerate them. The idea of burning books is every bibliophile’s nightmare, but it had to be done in order to shoot certain scenes from the book.

“Sadly, we had to burn several hundred books,” said director, writer, and producer Ramin Bahrani, “They were real books; there was no way around [burning them]. We had to do it for the film.”

The New York Post reports that Bahrani went on to state that the books burned were from a number of different cultures, and weren’t just American classics. “I grew up speaking and reading Persian before English, and I think a lot of people read and speak various languages,” he said. “We live in a world where people are intersecting language and cultures on a daily basis. If the firemen control things, they should control everything — not just books written by American men in English.”

He went on to explain how they had to create their own covers for various books as they couldn’t obtain permission to feature covers created by real artists.

“We had to design the covers for a lot of the books ourselves. That became a bizarre problem in pre-production. We could get the rights to the books to burn them, but we could not get the rights to most of the covers, because they were very complex: There was an artist, there was a graphic designer, there was a typographer. Tracking all these things down proved impossible.

“It was an unexpected challenge because we were so busy, we ended up having to hire two new designers for the art department just so that they could focus on making all these books.”

This new adaptation features scenes of classic books being burned, as well as more contemporary titles. Media such as music and computers are also burned given today’s digital technology.

“I thought it would be a chance to modernize and re-imagine it for a world that includes the Internet and technology,” said Bahrani. “Because if I came to your home and burned all your physical books, I’m sure you would not be happy about it, but you could just download them again from the cloud.”

Bahrani went on to say how, during one shoot, a certain book they were filming close up burned in a very aesthetically pleasing way, similarly to how Bradbury describes the books burning in his novel. The book in question was actually Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, which Bahrani took as a good sign.

“Oddly, Bradbury [writes in ‘Fahrenheit 451’] about pages burning in a hypnotic or seductive way, how they curl up on each other. But the only time this actually happened [during filming] was actually Martian Chronicles. We were shooting a close-up of it burning and the page kept curling up, one page after the other.

“And it kept curling up by chance on the name ‘Bradbury’ over and over again, so we were filming his name burning one after another. It seemed like a good omen somehow, that he was watching over the shoot.”

The HBO adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 is set to be released tomorrow on May 19 and will be available on HBO GO.

Leigh Bardugo’s ‘Shadow and Bone’ Coming to Netflix

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If you’re a fan of Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone or Six of Crows series then we have some fantastic news for you today. Netflix has greenlighted an eight-episode series based on the novels and it’ll be written by Eric Heisserer, writer of Netflix’s smash hit Bird Box and Shawn Levy, executive producer of Stranger Things. Bardugo will also serve as executive producer for the show, which will go into production very soon.
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Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman to be adapted for BBC Radio Four

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Journalist Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman has been adapted by the writer herself for the Riot Girls radio series starting on 12th January 2019. The Riot Girls series is a collection of stories from brilliant women and Moran’s book is a perfect example of this, a feminist message full of her usual witty and hilarious anecdotes.

The story of How to be a Woman is a memoir of Caitlin Moran’s life as she moves from adolescence in Wolverhampton to her adult life, while attempting to answer the questions every woman has asked herself while navigating these tricky life moments. The adaptation will be narrated by Caitlin Moran and star Louise Brealey (Sherlock) as Caitlin, Jeanette Percival as Caitlin’s sister Caz, and Clare Corbett as Caitlin’s mother.
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Netflix to adapt The Chronicles of Narnia

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The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven books (The Magician’s Nephew, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle) by C.S. Lewis about a fictional world called Narnia. Most people will know The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe story well, the adventures of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie through the Wardrobe into Narnia where they meet Mr Tumnus, the brave Lion – Aslan, and the enchantingly evil witch. However, less known are the books that follow this which introduce new characters including Prince Caspian, or the story of the Magician’s Nephew, which comes before Pevensie children’s arrival and is our first glimpse into the magical world of Narnia.
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Emma Watson – Behind the Scenes of Little Women

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Little Women has become synonymous with Christmas, although the book opens with the March sisters contemplating their first Christmas without their father who is away serving for his country the plot is not actually set predominately during the festive period, instead, spanning over years and different seasons. This notion of Little Women and Christmas may have come from the 1994 adaptation, which saw no traction for being made until Amy Pascal pitched it as a Christmas Film.

The latest version of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women will be the eighth adaptation of the novel, first published in 1868 and celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The adaptation is written and directed by Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) and produced by Amy Pascal (The Post), Denise Di Novi (Little Women 1994), Robin Swicord (Matilda), and Andrea Giannetti (Passengers).
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Dramatisation of Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology

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Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman as the title suggests, re-tells the stories from Norse myths of dwarves, giants and sea serpents, and of gods who are strong like Thor, beautiful like Sif and wise like Odin, and, of course, of the cunning and sly Loki.

This brilliantly written book is already an audiobook narrated by Neil Gaiman himself – who could read the phone book and make it sound good.

Now, the BBC is bringing us an exciting new radio dramatization of Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. Having previously dramatized other works by Neil Gaiman including Good Omens (his collaboration with Terry Pratchett) and Neverwhere, we have high hopes for this dramatization too.

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Andrea Levy Adaptation Comes to the BBC This Week

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The Long Song is a novel by Andrea Levy about the last days of slavery in Jamaica and the early years of freedom that followed. The BBC press centre explains that “The Long Song opens just as 300 years of slavery are finally coming to an end on the British-ruled island of Jamaica. But far from being a harrowing tale of misery that one might expect from such a history, The Long Song is a story of hope, passion, determination, and humour in the face of adversity. It follows a defiant, wily young woman, July, who is born a slave, but ends up as the mother of a gentleman.”
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