Equilibrium Not 451 Redux

Last Update: 28 November 2002

Equilibrium Not 451 Redux
November 27, 2002
Sci Fi Wire

Kurt Wimmer, writer and director of the upcoming SF film Equilibrium, told SCI FI Wire that comparisons between his film and the similarly themed Fahrenheit 451 are neither accurate nor fair. Christian Bale stars in Equilibrium as a man responsible for ensuring that no one experiences feelings through art, literature and music, but who then sets about toppling the system. "I'm concerned that people will watch this film and say, 'Well, it's just a remake of Fahrenheit 451,'" Wimmer said in an interview. "Fahrenheit 451 was about McCarthyism, and it's a story I love very much."

Wimmer added, "However, I would never dream of retelling Fahrenheit 451, because I don't think it's an appropriate story to tell right now. I don't think there is any real censorship of ideas right now. In fact, I think there's quite an abundance of ideas, if not an overabundance of ideas. What affected me, and what I used to color the world of Equilibrium, was this idea that, today, I think there's a very, very widespread emotional repression. To me, movies are an emotional drug, and every weekend my wife and I say, 'What emotion do we want to feel? Happy? Sad? Frightened?' We intentionally do that and sort of manipulate our brain chemistry in a very purposeful way. I see the [Motion Picture Association of America], with every film that comes out, narrowing the bottleneck of the emotional bandwidth that we're allowed to feel. The R-rated films [now] are literally the PG-13-rated films of 1989, and the R-rated films of 1989 were the PG-rated films of 1979. That's important to me. It's not 100 percent obvious in Equilibrium—which I thought it would be—but all the contraband is rated EC-10, which is a not-so-subtle poke at NC-17, and it's why they're burning films when they're saying it. So I hope people will look a little deeper into the film, because it's not just a remake of Fahrenheit 451." Equilibrium opens Dec. 6.


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