Red Dragon (2002): What happened to this horror movie?


The Red Dragon episode of WTF Happened to This Horror Movie? was Written by Ric Solomon, Narrated by Adam Walton, Edited by Juan Jimenez, Produced by Andrew Hatfield and John Fallon, and Executive Produced by Berge Garabedian.

Hannibal Lecter… a name that has been cemented forever in the hearts of horror fans alike. We’ve seen him appear in some truly gruesome yet unforgettable films. The most well known is The Silence of the Lambs, which was followed up in 2001 with the mostly disliked, self-titled Hannibal. In 2002, we were treated with a sort of redemption story for Hannibal Lecter, Red dragon, which you can watch HERE. Did you know that this was not the first time that Red dragon had been made? Did you know that Brett Ratner of the Rush hour fame directed this psychological thriller as well? We’ll take a look back and sip some Chianti to find out what happened to this horror movie.

Let us get this straight away. Red Dragon was adapted from the novel by Thomas Harris of the same title. This is the second time that it has been adapted to theaters. The first was back in 1986 titled Manhunter. It was directed by Michael Mann, who went on to direct such classics as Heat and Collateral. William Graham is a retired FBI criminal profiler who was attacked by Dr. Hannibal Lecktor, a cannibalistic serial. William asks Lecktor to help him catch The Tooth Fairy, aka Francis Dollarhyde, a serial killer. You might be surprised to learn that Anthony Hopkins did not portray Hannibal in this film. Brian Cox played him instead. You know… Logan Roy from Succession. The film was well-received but did poorly at the box offices. Later, it gained a cult-like following and was discovered on home video. It’s obvious that Brian Cox walked to allow Anthony Hopkins to run. It was originally titled Red dragon to match the source material. However, during its release, the title was changed to Manhunter to avoid confusion with another film that was in production at the time titled, you guessed it, Red Dragon.In 2001, Anthony Hopkins returned to star in

Hannibal. A funnier, gorier, and more outrageous sequel of Silence Of The Lambs. Ridley Scott directed the film, and Julianne Moore played Clarice Starling. Critics weren’t too kind, but audiences ran for a second helping of Hannibal Lecter.Husband and wife producers, Dino and Martha De Laurentiis decided that they wanted to produce a film based on novel

Red Dragon. People thought Dino was crazy for wanting to adapt a book that had previously been adapted.Anthony Hopkins was hesitant to sign on because he believed three Hannibal films might be too much for audiences. Ted Tally, the screenwriter who wrote

The Silence of the Lambs returned to write the script of Red dragon. He liked the idea that Hopkins’ Lecter movies would become a trilogy. Tally went on to add scenes with Lecter, which were not even in the novel. He called it a “commercial fact”. Thomas Harris endorsed the script. Many changes were made, which worried fans of the book who preferred a more faithful version. The cast only signed on after hearing that Tally was writing the screenplay.Brett Ratner was hired to direct the film. He would accept the challenge of delivering a faithful, gripping portrayal. Anthony Hopkins would return to the role of Dr Lecter for one final time. Edward Norton was hired as Will Graham even though Ethan Hawke had been the first choice. Ralph Fiennes played Francis Dolarhyde, aka The Tooth Fairy. Harvey Keitel played the movie’s version of Jack Crawford who is the head the Behavioral Sciences Unit of the FBI. He asks Graham to help him capture the Tooth Fairy. Emily Watson is Reba McClane. She’s a blind woman who becomes romantically involved Francis. Mary-Louise Parker plays Graham’s wife Molly and Philip Seymour Hoffman dons the role of Freddy Lounds who’s a sleazy tabloid report that becomes entangled in the investigation.

The plot for

Red Dragon follows Will Graham, who’s a former FBI agent that retired after capturing the infamous cannibalistic serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Graham is reluctantly called back to duty when a new serial killer, nicknamed “Tooth Fairy”, begins to bite his victims. The Tooth Fairy is Francis Dolarhyde and he is fascinated by William Blake’s painting, “The Great Red Dragon” and the Woman clothed with the sun. Dr. Lecter is imprisoned at a high security facility. Graham seeks his help. Lecter gives Graham insights into the Tooth Fairy’s mind, but also manipulates him because he is fascinated by the profiler. Graham uncovers Dolarhyde’s pattern of violence and obsessive behavior as he investigates the case. Dolarhyde is infatuated by a blind woman, Reba McClane. This causes a conflict inside him. Graham must race against time to identify and capture the Tooth Fairy before he can claim more victims.Throughout the story,

Red Dragon

explores the complex psychological dynamics between Graham, Lecter, and Dolarhyde. It explores themes of violence, obsessiveness, and blurred lines between evil and good. Graham’s pursuit of the Tooth Fairy takes a toll on his own sanity, as he must confront the darkness within himself to stop the killer.Filming took place in 2001 lasting several months. Principal photography took place at various locations including Baltimore, Maryland, and Ashville, North Carolina. The production designed aimed to recreate the 1980s setting and the visual style was influenced by the previous films in the series, with a focus on creating a tense and psychologically charged atmosphere.Edward Norton isn’t always the easiest person to get along with on set. He disagreed with Brett Ratner on several occasions, including the scene where Graham visits Lecter while incarcerated. Ratner wanted Norton’s inclusion of a gesture, or even a look to show Graham’s fear. Norton believed that if the filming was done correctly, it would not be necessary to include this. They compromised and showed Graham’s sweat stains in the next scene when he removed his jacket. Ralph Fiennes worked out 90 minutes a day for months to build his physique. He even wore a prosthetic that gave a cleft lip. The special effects team created realistic crime scenes, and used practical prosthetics to show the aftermath of the murders. Red Dragon

was released in theaters on the 4th of October 2002. The film received praise for its performances. Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, and Ralph Fiennes was Francis Dolarhyde. Edward Norton’s portrayal as Will Graham received positive reviews. Some felt it didn’t quite reach the heights the earlier film. It was a big hit at the box office, earning over $209 million in total worldwide! The film’s success at the box office showed the popularity of Hannibal Lecter and the interest in psychological thrillers. But it was the last time Anthony Hopkins played Dr. Lecter. It would be released in two DVD editions. The first was a standard release on one disc that included deleted scenes and director’s commentary from Brett Ratner, as well as some featurettes about the making of the movie. The “Director’s Edition” was the title of the two disc release. The two disc release would include all the single-disc special features, as well as a Brett Ratner video diary, a new featurette and storyboard comparisons. Seven years later, it would release on Blu-ray with the same bonus features as the “Director’s Edition” with an updated 1080p picture.

Red Dragon WTF Happened to This Horror Movie

While this isn’t my favorite outing of Doctor Lecter’s, it’s still a very fun time. Ralph Fiennes’s menacing and terrifying performance as The Tooth Fairy is one of this film’s highlights. After being treated to a gruesome time in

Hannibal, it’s nice to see that this a more restrained psychological thriller. I’m giving this a 7/10 because it’s a good middle-ground for everyone’s favourite cannibal.

In summary, Red dragon should be watched by fans of psychological thrillers. Its stellar performances, intense ambience, and thought-provoking story immerse viewers in a psychological terror. Below are a few of the previous episodes from WTF happened to This Horror Movie

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