［eiga.com 映画ニュース］ 「ショーシャンクの空に」のフランク・ダラボン監督が6 月24日の第35回サターン賞授賞式で、米SciFiWireの取材に答え、10年間以上も映画化に向けて着手しているレイ・ブラッドベリ原作の「華氏 451」の企画が暗礁に乗り上げ、ハリウッドでは難しい状況であるとこぼし、映画化実現に向け起死回生のチャンスはキャスティング次第であると明かした。
原作「華氏451度」は、題名が本の自然発火する温度を意味し、本の所持や読書が禁じられた架空の近未来を描いたブラッドベリの1953年発表の SF小説の名作。それを映画化したオリジナル版映画「華氏451」（66）は、フランスの映画監督フランソワ・トリュフォーの初のカラー作品で、唯一の英 語で作られたイギリス映画。本を燃やす仕事をしている消防士モンターグ（オスカー・ウェルナー）が、妻リンダに瓜二つの若い女クラリス（ジュリー・クリス ティが2役）と知り合い、読書好きなクラリスの影響で、彼がはじめて本を読むという話だ。
「『華氏451』の映画化に向け努力しているが、キャスティング頼みといったところだ。諦めたくないし、企画を死なせたくない」とダラボン監督。名 前は明かされていないが、ある俳優が主演候補に挙がっていてその契約が決定すれば、超大作とはいかないまでも前作のホラー映画「ミスト」（07）以上の予 算は確保できると見込んでいるようだ。「ミスト」はベストセラー作家スティーブン・キングの原作だが、ダラボン監督が映画化を発表した01年、主演に決 まったトム・ハンクス（「グリーンマイル」）が降板したため低予算映画になった経緯がある。
ダラボン監督が映画化を急いでいるのは、現在88歳という原作者レイ・ブラッドベリ氏が生きているうちに、少なくとも撮影を開始したいと考えている からで、「もちろん、彼（ブラッドベリ）が明日いなくなるとは思っていない。でも、彼が若返るわけではないし、僕の気持ちとして彼に楽しんでもらえるよう 早く製作を進めたいんだ」と明かしている。
Frank Darabont showed up at the 35th Annual Saturn Awards to receive
the award for Best DVD Special Edition release of his masterful horror
epic The Mist. Could you tell that I liked that movie? Well, I
freaking loved it and the extras-packed DVD was more than deserving of
the honor. Have you guys seen it in black and white on Blu-ray? It's
awesome, it feels like a movie from the '50s with CG. So after the
paparazzi were done snapping pictures, I took him aside to not only get
dorky over the film, but discuss his upcoming projects as well. I found
him to be a warm and gregarious person and the fact that he was such a
cool, relaxed guy has now made him my favorite modern director.
ShockTillYouDrop.com: First of all I have to tell you that I loved "The Mist." It was seriously the best horror film of 2007, hands down.
Frank Darabont: Well, thank you, so glad you liked it. We shot in six weeks, dude. We shot it cheap, we shot it fast, and it was definitely a different kind of filmmaking experience for me which I embraced and I really enjoyed. But at the end you won't know what the result will be, but hearing that you dug it means a lot to me.
Shock: Yeah, and I've got to give you kudos for that ending, too.
Darabont: Oh, thank you. That's one of the reasons we shot it so quickly and cheaply, because of that ending. I wound up making it for about half the budget that I had been offered which came with the caveat that I changed the ending, and I didn't know what another ending would have been, frankly. And I think trying to adjust it would have felt like a total sell-out to me. Honestly, its the ending I had in mind, and whether you love the ending or hate the ending, I stand by it. I think cinema is an art form, it's all expression. I thought "Okay, lets make it for half that budget and keep that ending, so I can make the movie I set out to make". Otherwise I'm just a hired monkey.
Shock: What is it exactly about Stephen King's material that keeps attracting you?
Darabont: Stephen King's writing. He's such a great storyteller. Oh, by the way, his next book just landed on my desk today. The xeroxed manuscript of this book he's been writing for the last year. It's called "Under the Dome." I'm like four chapters into it, it's awesome. It's really, really good. It's a thrill to get early looks at Steve's work like that. I always feel honored.
Shock: I know you've been working on the adaptation of King's "The Long Walk," how's that progressing?
Darabont: "The Long Walk" is a bit on my back burner at the moment. I won't spend too many more years before I make it, it's going to be coming up I think pretty shortly. But I'll be making it, I'm sure, even more cheaply than "The Mist" because I don't want to blow the material out of proportion. It's such a very simple, weird, almost art film-like approach to telling a story. So let's do it honestly, let's do it that way. Let's not turn it into "The Running Man." So we'll make it down and dirty and cheap and hopefully good.
Shock: You've also been circling a remake of "Fahrenheit 451." What's the status on that one?
Darabont: That's my other great priority, to try and get the greenlight on that and that's been a bit of a struggle. Hollywood doesn't trust smart material. If you show them a really smart script. I actually had a studio head read that script and say: "Wow, that's the best and smartest script that I've read since running this studio but I can't possibly greenlight it." I asked why and he says "How am I going to get 13-year-olds to show up at the theater?" And I said "Well, lets make a good movie and I bet that will take care of itself." But that argument cut absolutely no ice. The movie was basically too smart for this person, too metaphorical, etc., etc. It's a bit of a battle you've got to fight. When you're faced with it, how do you overcome that prejudice?
Shock: Well, that's the problem with movies today, they seem to be dumbed down on purpose. Bradbury's language and stories are very lush and old-fashioned and he never goes with the cookie-cutter plot. How different is adapting Bradbury than King?
Darabont: Fundamentally, the job is really the same one, it's just you're listening to a different voice. The author's voice is so vital in the process. Trying to interpret their intentions is really the job. They're both great, great, great storytellers. As long as you're just listening to the voice as honestly as you can you can't go too far off. They're obviously different kinds of storytellers but, at the core of it, not really. They both write from the heart. They are both heart-writers and their characters are the important things to them. So maybe different shading or flavorings, but basically the same kind of storytellers, I think.