BREAKING: Tom Hanks Drops Out Of ‘Fahrenheit 451’

Frank Darabont is one of those guys we’re always rooting for. Any guy who’s got both the touchy-feeliness of “The Shawshank Redemption” AND the utter blackness of “The Mist” in him is alright by us. Well, pity poor Frank today, because his passion project, the long in-development film of “Fahrenheit 451″ is once again without a leading man. Tom Hanks is out, Darabont revealed to MTV News exclusively.

Only months ago, Darabont told us Hanks was his Guy Montag. Now it’s not to be. “Mr. Hanks sadly and regretfully had to back out,” he said. “I was really looking forward to working with him again but his other commitments just precluded it. He had to take a step back.”

Despite Hanks’ withdrawal, the director sounded like he’s as excited about the film as ever. “I see this movie so clearly in my head. It’s flowing in my veins,” he said. And just because you think of books first when you think “Fahrenheit 451,” don’t expect something akin to Jane Austen, Darabont promised. He explained, “One character in the script says, ’It’s not really even about books. It’s about control.’ It’s about the control of government and authority. It’s one of the greatest books ever written. It’s got all that great political stuff underneath the skin of it but really what it is is a great galloping tale.”

That’s all well and good but what Darabont really needs today is a new leading man. “It needs to be somebody like [Hanks] who has the ability to trigger a greenlight but is also the right guy for the part. It’s a narrow target. It’s a short list of people,” Darabont sighed.

So who’s on your short list to succeed Hanks in Darabont’s vision? Who would make the perfect Guy Montag?!? It’s your turn.