HBO continues to develop new and intriguing science-fiction and fantasy projects. In addition to the second season of Westworld, HBO presents fans with another reboot of a classic sci-fi work. A new version of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 soon comes to the small screen. The classic book was already adapted into a feature film. Now, like Westworld, the work garners the HBO original films treatment.
The new version of Fahrenheit 451 won’t be escapist fair, either. HBO has announced the new film intends to take on a dark, gritty tone. Perhaps that would be the best tone for such a work to take. The original novel dealt with book burning, totalitarianism and other dystopic visions of the future. All that should likely be retained in the pay channel’s adaptation of the work.
On television, a dark approach to science-fiction may work well. Serious sci-fi doesn’t seem to do as well at the box office. The recent failure of Blade Runner 2049 seems to indicate movie attendees prefer escapism in their science-fiction. The success of Westworld does show a gritty, violent science-fiction series has the potential to connect with audiences. The same should be true of a made-for-cable film.
Question marks may exist surrounding whether Fahrenheit 451 can present a world that delivers on the action as well as themes. Westworld existed in a world in which many different scenarios could be crafted. The original source material for Fahrenheit 451 seems much more isolated in terms of narrative potential.
Of course, the entire idea behind creative development is to work on the things necessary to make a movie or television show workable. A lot of effort surely went into crafting the modernized vision of Ray Bradbury’s classic work.