Re: RARA-AVIS: Hannibal/Red Dragon

From: George Upper (
Date: 17 Jan 2002

--- Carrie Pruett <> wrote:
> speaking of Harris adaptations, I just read some
> weird thing about "Red
> Dragon" being made with Ralph Fiennes in the "title
> role" and Anthony
> Hopkins in a supporting role - I never read the
> book, but does this mean
> Hopkins is playing Lecter?

That's probably what it means. The book is a good one, although I haven't read it in years. It's actually already been made into a movie once, called MANHUNTER, which suffers from an inadequate cast but otherwise holds pretty true to the novel. (The guy from Crime Story, I think, plays Crawford, and the lead FBI investigator now has a role in C.S.I., a show I've never watched.)

If your source actually puts Ralph Fiennes in the
"title role," that makes him the bad guy, more or less. The Red Dragon is actually a painting in the novel, but the mad serial killer dreams of becoming the dragon or uniting with it or some such thing. Unless they're going to stick with the MANHUNTER title, which I can't believe they would, in which case Fiennes would be the FBI agent. Although serial killers are manhunters, too, in a sense, so who knows?

By the way, for those of you who have read HANNIBAL
(seeing the movie doesn't count), the ending makes much more sense if you've read RED DRAGON. Hannibal succeeds with Clarise where he failed with the protagonist of RED DRAGON, and it makes the whole thing much more believable if you know that this is an actual pattern of behavior on Hannibal's part. Or, it seems that way to me, anyway.


===== George C. Upper III, Editor The Lightning Bell Poetry Journal

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