Script 2 Script 29: Red Dragon

It’s that time to get around to listener requests again. Picked out for us by Algazero is the much anticipated Red Dragon. It’s the first appearance of one of the most enduring pop culture figures, Hannibal Lecter. Having been adapted twice, first in Manhunter(1986) and again in Red Dragon(2002).

We take no shortcuts and talk about the book in compare it to both films. The basic structure is the same. Will Graham is a profiler who retired from the FBI after catching Lecter. There’s a serial killer murdering families and they want Will’s help. He gets roped into doing the investigation. This is interspersed with moments from the perspective of Francis Dollarhyde, the killer initially nicknamed the Tooth Fairy.

The book goes into a lot of detail of Francis’ life and rise to murder. Manhunter glosses over most of it and casts Tom Noonan as Francis because he can at least do creepy. The Red Dragon film puts in as much Anthony Hopkins as they can get away with and tasks Lord Voldemort with a workout regimen to play Francis. It’s no surprise that we settle on the book as superior with the Red Dragon film being the best adaptation of the two.

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