For a decade now, Frank Darabont has been trying tirelessly to adapt the classic Ray Bradbury novel Fahrenheit 451 into a movie, with nothing but bad luck and fallen plans keeping the project in a deep hole. The closest it seemed to be to actually happening is when they were able to score Tom Hanks for the lead, but when he eventually exited the project, Fahrenheit disappeared from the radar for some time. Now comes word via Sci Fi Wire from the Saturn Awards that Darabont has a new actor in mind and that he’s determined — even in the face of death — to make this movie now.
Frank Darabont isn’t someone who makes movies in quick-succession, but when he does make them, they usually find high-praise. Most-notably, Darabont has written and directed the comparable Stephen King adaptations of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. He also wrote and directed the remake of The Mist, which was liked by many people, but not nearly at the level of his other King adaptations. Because of this uncanny ability to adapt a book into a successful movies, most have been itching to see his version of Bradbury’s tale of anarchy as the future America has completely collapsed and important works of literature — including the Bible — are illegal and burned. The main character is Guy Montag, a Fireman (someone who burns book) who eventually realizes what’s wrong with his society and starts to question his own life’s purpose.
When asked about the project, Darabont expressed his passion to make the movie, and how a fairly reputable casting is crucial, even if the movie will not be the most-expensive project ever made:
Fahrenheit is the thing I’m trying to get up next, which is casting-dependent, so it’s one of those. I’m out to somebody at the moment, fingers crossed, because, boy, do I want to make that movie. I’m not giving up. I’ll die in the traces before I don’t make that movie.
Darabont then went on to take about his determination to get it finally moving while 88-year old author Ray Bradbury is still alive.
I promised myself that it would at least go into production while Ray Bradbury were still with us. It’s not like I think he’s going to leave tomorrow, but he’s not getting any younger. So I have an emotional commitment to wanting to get the wheels well and truly in motion while he’s still here to enjoy that.
Frank Darabont is also supposedly working in some aspects to bring a movie adaptation of Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man to the big screen.