From the DVD commentary, director Kurt Wimmer:
You know, there's a number of films Fahrenheit 451, Logan's Run, Gattaca, Brave New World, 1984, THX-1138, The Matrix, Alphaville, A Clockwork Orange, Handmaiden's [sic] Tale, Judge Dredd, even Triumph of the Will--- all of these were films that I was accused of unapologetically ripping off to make this film. And, you know, it's true. I like all of these stories and I actually like some of those films and certainly I did draw inspiration from them for making my own dystopic universe. Although I certainly wasn't trying to pull the wool over anybody's eyes. Because at the end of the day I believe that this film is actually about something different than those films were about. You know, I always thought that 1984 was about socialism and Fahrenheit 451 was about McCarthyism, while for me this particular film was about numbness. [...] And also not only that but a sort of sister theme, a dangerous idea I see growing daily around me, that some people's feelings are dangerous and need to be censored.
So Equilibrium takes the censorship idea in a different direction; the purpose of the state's censorship is the suppression of feelings and the targets of censorship are all the arts.