Frank Darabont has made a career out of turning treasured books into even more treasured movies, but to bring "Fahrenheit 451” to the big-screen he's gonna need the help of some old friends.
Luckily, he's found his Guy.
"[Tom Hanks] has stated his intention to do the movie. I'm hoping that stays on track," Darabont enthused, confirming recent rumors that Hanks would suit up as Guy Montag, a freethinking "fireman" who begins the classic novel as a state-appointed book burner. "It's not a for-certain thing, but all indications are looking very, very good right now. I would love to work with him again. He'd be perfection."
Hanks, who previously worked with Darabont on 1999's "The Green Mile," is "the perfect embodiment of the regular guy," the director said.
"He's a movie star wrapped in a regular guy's body. I love his intelligence onscreen," Darabont declared. "I love his empathetic quality, his accessibility. I don't want Montag to be the extraordinary hero. I think he's much more interesting if he's not the movie hero but a real guy."
Which, after all, is all he really is — a regular guy who slowly begins to question the hedonistic, rabidly anti-intellectual values of his culture, and only gradually accepts that change is necessary.
But for author Ray Bradbury, there was more than one way to burn a book. In Guy Montag's world, people are discouraged from intellectual curiosity with insipid programming, constantly distracted by wall-size televisions and small audio devices they can put in their ears.
Sound familiar? It does to Darabont, who three months ago told MTV News that George Bush has made "Fahrenheit 451” "the most relevant piece of literature ever written."
Which doesn't mean "Fahrenheit" is simply a polemic, Darabont insisted.
"The thriller aspect is not to be underestimated," he asserted. "It's chock full of explosions and fires. If you read the book, the entire third act of the story is a chase. There's a lot of exciting and thrilling aspects to the tale. Flamethrowers and mechanical dogs? Come on, it's awesome! It's the human journey within the eye candy."
What do you make of Tom Hanks as Guy Montag? Can Darabont continue his "hot" streak? Sound off below.