Seven years before writing The Silence of the Lambs, author Thomas Harris created a portrait of evil in its purest form. With the suspense novel Red Dragon, he introduced readers to a trio of characters whose fates were devastatingly intertwined: the brilliant psychiatrist-turned-killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter; the psychically scarred FBI investigator, Will Graham; and the ritualistic butcher known as The Tooth Fairy.
The mythology of the Lecter character, one of the most intriguing villains in modern fiction, was continued in Harris' subsequent best-sellers, The Silence of The Lambs (1988) and Hannibal (1999).
In Jonathan Demme's Oscar®-winning 1991 film adaptation of Silence, Anthony Hopkins elevated Lecter to the ranks of indelible cinematic figures, winning an Academy Award® for his chilling portrayal and creating one of those rare instances in film when role and actor are so perfectly matched that it's virtually impossible to imagine another actor playing the character - or to think of Hopkins and not immediately conjure images of Lecter.
As a result, when the opportunity arose to reprise the role in Ridley Scott's 2001 big screen version of Hannibal, Hopkins revisited the role, resulting in one of the most successful films of the year.
Red Dragon represents the completion of the Hopkins-Hannibal trilogy. Based on Harris' 1981 novel, Red Dragon is directed by Brett Ratner and produced by Dino DeLaurentiis and Martha De Laurentiis, who teamed with Hopkins on Hannibal.
Ted Tally, who received the Academy Award® for his screenplay for The Silence of The Lambs, adapted Red Dragon for the screen.
In addition to Hopkins, the filmmakers have assembled an exceptional cast of some of today's most distinguished actors including two-time Oscar® nominees Edward Norton (Primal Fear, American History X) as Will Graham, Ralph Fiennes (Schindler's List, The English Patient) as Francis Dolarhyde and Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves, Hilary and Jackie) as the blind Reba McClane. Oscar® nominee Harvey Keitel (Bugsy) portrays FBI boss Jack Crawford, Tony Award winner Mary-Louise Parker (Proof) plays Molly Graham and Tony nominee Philip Seymour Hoffman (True West) takes on the role of tabloid reporter Freddy Lounds.
Ratner's key behind-the-camera collaborators, all part of his team on his 2000 film The Family Man, include director of photography Dante Spinotti (Wonder Boys, L. A. Confidential), production designer Kristi Zea (Goodfellas, The Silence of the Lambs), costume designer Betsy Heimann (Vanilla Sky, Out of Sight) and editor Mark Helfrich (Rush Hour 2, Scary Movie). The composer is Danny Elfman (Spiderman, Men in Black II).