Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon Hop on the Dystopia Train with HBO’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’ Adaptation

Next stop: Utter despair!

Last year, HBO announced it was developing a movie adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451, with 99 Homes‘ Ramin Bahrani set to direct and co-write the script with Amir Naderi. Now, as per The Hollywood Reporter, the film has cast its first two stars: Michaels Shannon and B. Jordan.

Like Hulu’s upcoming adaptation of the 1985 Margaret Atwood novel The Handmaid’s TaleFahrenheit 451 is a little too relevant for comfort. The novel takes place in a future dystopia in which books have been outlawed (the title refers to “the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns”). Jordan stars as Montag, a “fireman” tasked with confiscating and torching the possessions of anyone found hoarding books. Shannon, who also starred in 99 Homes, will play “fire chief” Beatty, Montag’s boss and mentor. Jordan is set to executive produce, via his production company, Outlier Productions.

Bradbury’s books have been remade for the screen many times over; Fahrenheit 451 in particular got the film treatment not long after it was published, when François Truffaut directed a 1966 adaptation — the first film he shot in color, and the only English-language film the French director made. Bradbury, who died in 2012, liked that film well enough, but took issue with some of the casting choices. (“The mistake they made with the first one was to cast Julie Christie as both the revolutionary and the bored wife,” he told L.A. Weekly in 2009.)

HBO hasn’t announced a premiere date yet, but if you want to read the source material first, now’s your chance: If the surging popularity of The Handmaid’s Tale is any indication, you might want to get your hands on a copy of the book sooner rather than later.