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

By May 18, 2018Adaptations, News
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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.

Check out ‘Green Book’, an Upcoming Film Based upon the Green Books Published for African American Travellers

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During the 20th century, the United States of America was not an easy place to be for African Americans. Segregation existed for much of the century and black citizens were forced to go out of their way to ensure they followed unjust laws which rendered them second class citizens. As you can imagine, travelling was much more dangerous for black Americans that for whites, and there were plenty of areas which were to be avoided at all costs.

In order to aid black motorists, Victor Hugo Green published a series of books called The Negro Motorist Green Books, which were more commonly refereed to simple as ‘Green Books’. These books were sold in gas stations and informed black travelers where they would be able to find places that welcomed business from African Americans who wanted to to sleep, eat, and shop. As we recently reported, the first Green Book was published in 1936 and more followed until segregation, for the most part, came to an end in the late 60s.

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Games of Thrones Star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Teases the Series Will End on a High Note

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Since the first season aired back in 2011, Game of Thrones has become one of the biggest TV shows of all time. Based upon George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of books, the show mixes realistic portrayals of politics and war against a fantasy background. After eight years, the show’s eighth and final season is set to air next year and the stars are beginning to wrap up their character’s arcs. Read More

Henry Cavill Would Love to Play Geralt in Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’ Adaptation

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Henry Cavill is best known for playing Superman/Clark Kent in the recent DC superhero films, but it seems he’d be happy to swap out his cape for a pair of swords. In a recent interview with IGN, Cavill stated he’d be very interested in playing the role of Geralt of Rivia in Netflix’s recently announced adaptation of The Witcher series.

The Witcher is a gritty fantasy series written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, and has shot to fame in recent years after a game developer named CD Projekt RED created three very successful video games based on the books. The 2015 game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has critically acclaimed and prompted Netflix to secure the rights for a series adaptation. Read More

Andy Serkis to Direct ‘Animal Farm’ Film for Netflix

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It was recently announced that the distribution rights for Andy Serkis’ upcoming film Mowgli has been bought by Netflix and now the streaming giant has doubled down by acquiring the rights to Serkis’ film adaptation of George Orwell’s classic novel Animal Farm.

As Deadline reports, the film will feature actors using performance-capture for the roles of the animals (classic Serkis) and Serkis will lead the project as the film’s director. One of the producer credits includes Matt Reeves, who has previously worked with Serkis on the films Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes.

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HBO Orders ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ Adaptation from Steven Moffat

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HBO has managed to secure an adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife by the British writer and producer Steven Moffat. Moffat is best known for writing the likes of Doctor Who and Sherlock. It has been reported that there was plenty of interest from major outlets such as Amazon, but it was HBO that won the rights.

The series will be written by Moffat and is based on the book of the same name by Audrey Niffenegger. “I read Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife many years ago, and I fell in love with it”, said Moffat. “In fact, I wrote a Doctor Who episode called ‘The Girl In The Fireplace’ as a direct response to it. When, in her next novel, Audrey had a character watching that very episode, I realized she was probably on to me. All these years later, the chance to adapt the novel itself, is a dream come true. The brave new world of long form television is now ready for this kind of depth and complexity. It’s a story of happy ever after – but not necessarily in that order.” Read More



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