First he was the Human Torch, then he burned the garden of the heart-shaped herb, now he’s burning all the books—Michael B. Jordan seems to like movies where he gets to burn sh*t on screen. Kathleen calls him Michael Bae Jordan but maybe we should call him Michael B. Burnin’. (I’ll show myself out.) The latest “Michael B. Jordan sets sh*t on fire” movie is HBO’s adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, which stars Jordan and Michael Shannon as book-burning fireman Montag and his supervisor Beatty, respectively. (For Shannon, this is a re-team with his 99 Homes director, Ramin Bahrani, who extracted a great performance from him in that movie. Interested to see what Bahrani gets from him this time.) The teaser has been released and it’s a lot of Jordan burning sh*t and Michael Shannon being vaguely threatening. It looks good based on seventy seconds of mostly montages of books and flames.
There’s something sort of meta about this adaptation landing on HBO, since the book is (partly) about mass entertainment taking over more highbrow forms like literature. But now people won’t even go to the movies, so stuff like literary adaptations are relegated to premium cable. The parlor wall is coming true. Although I feel like if you tried to take people’s books away right now, it would not go well and a bunch of (allegedly) Rude Teens would emerge to save us from ourselves. If we’ve learned anything in the past couple weeks it’s that the Rude Teens of Generation Z are going to save us, so really Montag shouldn’t be played by Michael B. Jordan, he should be played by a scowling seventeen-year-old who can simultaneously challenge the status quo and deliver scathing takes and wicked burns. In fact, that would be the tagline: He burns, and HE BURNS. Really, I will just show myself out now.
Attached - MBJ promoting Black Panther in New York last week.