Blame Google, blame Facebook, blame your smartphone - we're all culpable, he insisted. The footage opens on a book (Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment) burning in the hands of an unseen individual.
"He's just an exaggeration of that now", he said of Trump. I don't want us to forget what Bradbury said - that we asked for this.
"We are electing this thing in my pocket", Bahrani said, pulling out his smartphone. "We are electing to give it all away to this". Between the technological advancements in the last 20 years and politics, Bradbury's biggest concern about the erosion of culture is now.
Films presents Fahrenheit 451. But when Bradbury wrote his book it was set in the distant future; HBO's adaptation is set in "alternate tomorrow, right here right now", Bahrani warned. In a literal sense, the book is even more absurdly on-the-nose, given our commander-in-chief's notorious disdain for the written word and unhealthy obsession with his Fox and Friends echo chamber.
Bradbury was very concerned about... He thought all that would destroy concepts of thinking, reading and knowledge.
"Will we actually get ahead of the dam, or will it just be a flood and up to some other generation to bring back all of Bradbury's heroes?" "We asked for things to become this way".
"It was daunting to take on Bradbury because he's such a genius and a legend", said Bahrani. "We've willingly given it up".
Speaking at a panel during the TCA winter press tour, Bahrani - along with actress Sofia Boutella (her co-stars Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon were late-notice cancellations on the panel) - explained the "paramount" effect the internet had on his adaptation. The cast also includes Sofia Boutella and Lilly Singh.
Ramin Bahrani and Amir Naderi are adapting Bradbury's book, and Bahrani will direct. It's produced by Noruz Films, Brace Cove, David Coatsworth and Outlier Society with Bahrani, Sarah Green, Jordan, Alan Gasmer, and Peter Jaysen executive producing.