VIDEO: Ray Bradbury on Mel Gibson and status of Fahrenheit 451 film

With Mel Gibson’s current publicised and audio documented situation every aspect of his career is up in the air.  One of the projects that Gibson owns the rights to is a film adaptation of the legendary Ray Bradbury novel Fahrenheit 451.  In a bizarre scene of new world technology and pop culture craziness meets old world revered author, Ray Bradbury discussed the fate of his most well known work becoming a film during a Skype interview at a bookstore in New York.

Bradbury, 90, was making the appearance to help promote a current biography on him by Sam Weller entitled Listen to the Echoes; The Ray Bradbury Interviews. The bio features highlights from ten years worth of candid conversations that have taken place between Weller and Bradbury.  Yet, to prove that nothing can escape the media circus that is Mel Gibson even the esteemed author was dragged into the mess when asked about his novel becoming a film once again.  Here is what Bradbury had to say:

“Unfortunately, he’s (Mel Gibson) busy with the Russian girl (Oksana Grigorieva), and I saw him on TV this morning swearing at her. So there you go.” – Ray Bradbury

In the beginning of the clip Bradbury is discussing the previous 1966 film adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 directed by Francois Truffant and starring Oskar Werner as the futuristic book burning fireman Guy Montag.

For the current version Gibson originally intended to portray Montag himself but decided that he was too old to pull it off so he shifted gears and decided to direct.  Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise were rumored for the role but difficulties with the script precluded this from happening.  In 2001 the project received new life as Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption) became involved, rewriting the script and becoming the rumored director with Gibson’s role once again changed to that of a producer.  Tom Hanks became the new desired Montag but this too fell through with Hanks backing out citing prior commitments.

With all we have heard from him lately, it is hard to image the uncomfortable verocity that would be evoked by seeing Gibson portray Montag  .  Flames firing the scene as his signature wild eyes gaze hedonistically into the charred remains of torched books.  I usually prefer to stay away from film adaptations but I have to admit that part of me would have to watch.

Top Photo: Vince Bucci -Getty Images / David Tonnessen, PacificCoastNews