ShockTillYouDrop.com got a chance to talk to Frank Darabont at the 35th Annual Saturn Awards last night and asked him about the adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, to which he’s been attached for a long time:
That’s my other great priority, to try and get the greenlight on that and that’s been a bit of a struggle. Hollywood doesn’t trust smart material. If you show them a really smart script. I actually had a studio head read that script and say: “Wow, that’s the best and smartest script that I’ve read since running this studio but I can’t possibly greenlight it.” I asked why and he says “How am I going to get 13-year-olds to show up at the theater?” And I said “Well, lets make a good movie and I bet that will take care of itself.” But that argument cut absolutely no ice. The movie was basically too smart for this person, too metaphorical, etc., etc. It’s a bit of a battle you’ve got to fight. When you’re faced with it, how do you overcome that prejudice?
The book gives a grim look at a fascist future, in which firemen have taken on a new duty of starting fires as well as putting them out, specifically with the task of burning all books, as way of suppressing independent thought and action in the public. The film’s story centers around a young fireman, Guy Montag, who finds himself questioning his job, even as he encounters a beautiful young woman, and learns about an underground of rebels who each memorize the entire contents of a book, so that they can preserve it even without the use of paper.
Darabont says he also still wants to adapt Stephen King’s “The Long Walk,” which you can read more about here.