A second family has been massacred by the terrifying serial killer the press has christened "The Tooth Fairy." Special Agent Jack Crawford turns to the one man who can help restart a failed investigation, Will Graham. Graham is the greatest profiler the FBI ever had, but the physical and mental scars of capturing Hannibal Lecter have caused Graham to go into early retirement. Now, Graham must turn to Lecter for help.
In 1986 The Novel was turned into the Critically Acclaimed Box Office Failure Dubbed "Manhunter", Written and Directed by Michael Mann. It became a cult hit, and introduced "Hannibal Lecktor" to the big screen, as well as introducing Will Graham and "Francis Dollarhyde." But I was never a fan of Mann's vision of Harris' novel. In fact, I found it more-or-less underdeveloped. The Acting was fine, the Directing was decent, but there felt a serious lack of substance, Trading in a shocking ending for a typical, albeit short, 80's styled gunfight set to "In Da Gadda Da Vidda" from Iron Butterfly.
In all honesty, I just felt Harris' novel deserved better. A better script, a better cast, a better more equipped director. Since then the story, and Novels of Harris have seen due respect in the form of Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs, Brett Ratner's Red Dragon, and of course, NBC's Hannibal. But What if we could go back to an appropriate time, and do Red Dragon Proper? Let's take a trip to 1984 and see what Red Dragon could have been back then, should the stars have aligned properly...
Composer: A film score (also sometimes called film music, background music, or incidental music) is original music written specifically to accompany a film. The score forms part of the film's soundtrack, which also usually includes dialogue and sound effects, and comprises a number of orchestral, instrumental or choral pieces called cues which are timed to begin and end at specific points during the film in order to enhance the dramatic narrative and the emotional impact of the scene in question.
Michael Kamen [Notable Works: Boardwalk, Venom, The Dead Zone]: His Score for the Dead Zone says everything Why I chose him to Score the 80's version of Red Dragon. I remember reading an interview with him over scoring The Dead Zone and his neighbors had screamed at him to stop playing, citing the music was giving their children nightmares. That proved it to me. He would have scored the most frightening score imaginable.
Francis Ford Coppola [Notable Works: Dementia 13, Patton, The Great Gatsby] & Jeffrey Boam [Notable Works: Straight Time, The Dead Zone]: I am not a Cronenberg fan, not that he's a bad filmmaker I just hate a lot of his opinions. But he was a genius, and hiring Jeffrey Boam to script the Dead Zone was genius. He did a fantastic job, Boam had the beat and the spirit of the novel in script form, and for that He would be the screenwriter I would want to see handle Red Dragon, paring him up with Francis Ford only enhances that. Coppola is a legend as a screenwriter and as a Director, and he would have been phenomenal at adapting Red Dragon, there's no doubt that the two of them together adapting Red Dragon would have made the movie absolutely perfect.
Francis Ford Coppola [Notable Works: Apocalypse Now, The Godfather, The Outsiders]: Coppola is a legend, An Oscar winner who in the 1980's had a name that carried weight. Giving him access to Red Dragon (which I view as the Predominant Crime Novel of the 20th century) is a strong fit. His name would help the film gross, but his style and dedication to such source material and how he uses the spine of it to tell an interesting tale. He would have out-directed Michael Mann in adapting the Harris Novel.
Chris Sarandon [Height: 6' 1", Age: 42 (in 1984), Notable Works: Dog Day Afternoon, The Sentinel, Protocol]: Chris was someone I had to cast. He had to be Will Graham. He's got the feel, the look, and the presence of the character. He would have been the Quintessential Will. He's just "It" he is the actor who is perfect for Graham.
Paul Newman [Height: 5' 9", Age: 59 (in 1984), Notable Works: The Sting, The Drowning Pool, The Verdict]: Paul is a legend. He's an actor's actor. He's a Guru of acting, and having him tackle that edge and bringing that to Jack Crawford, the Head of Behavioral Science feels right. Paul would be the perfect Crawford for Red Dragon.
Robert Duvall [Height: 5' 9 1/2", Age: 53 (In 1984), Notable Works: True Confessions, Apocalypse Now, The Natural]: Robert is a Veteran actor, a great mind on set and well known for giving some downright legendary performances. He is a Francis Ford regular, and originally I didn't have Dr. Bloom in this cast, but remembering how he was a key figure it was important to add him in. Robert has an intelligence about him that really allows him to access that and would be a great actor for this role.
Kim Cattrall [Height: 5' 6 1/2", Age: 28 (1984), Notable Works: Rosebud, Ticket to Heaven, Porky's]: I'm a huge fan of Kim's work. She's always been great at balancing the tightrope between comedic and dramatic performances, always knowing when to switch, but it would be nice to see her in a role that really puts her under the gun and get her into a situation where she is as fearful for her life as she can be, and see how as an actress she portrays that.
Wil Wheaton [Height: N/A, Age: 12 (in 1984), Notable Works: The Secret of NIMH, The Buddy System, Hambone and Hillie]: Wil is an actor who everyone saw had raw talent. Child actors are known for being universally terrible but somehow he edged that out and became one of the greats. The age of him and his talent as an actor made him perfect for this role.
Michael Keaton [Height: 5' 9", Age: 33 (In 1984), Notable Works: Mr. Mom, Johnny Dangerously, Night Shift]: Michael Keaton is one of the best actors I've ever seen. He could have played Will or Lecter. But the nature of the timeline and his comedic background I elected him as scumbag Journalist Freddy Lounds. He's a great actor and has a great pedigree of playing morally questionable characters. Frankly he's just damn perfect for Lounds.
Kelsey Grammer [Height: 6' 1", Age: 29 (In 1984), Notable Works: Cheers, Kennedy, George Washington]: No one, I mean NO ONE in Hollywood has ever been able to absolutely play the most stuck up unlikeable (or likeable for that matter) prick like Kelsey. He's got the attitude and presence to really pull this role off as well as Anthony Held ever did.
John Hurt [Height: 5' 9", Age: 44 (In 1984), Notable Works: 1984, The Elephant Man, Alien]: John is a remarkable actor, He's exactly how one would picture Lecter only from reading the book. He's a small man, with the perfect complimenting features to portray Lecter. But he has a very inherently sinister voice, and that voice can switch from polite banter, intellectual conversation, to downright hateful manipulation. He's in all forms what would have been the perfect actor for Lecter in the 1980's.
Jamie Lee Curtis [Height: 5' 7", Age: 26 (In 1984), Notable Works: Halloween, Terror Train, Trading Places]: I'm a Jamie fan. I love her work, she's a talented woman and seeing her in her early work it's very apparent she has always been a strong actress but hasn't really played a role quite like this. A role where she is intimately close but never realizes that danger, while also pulling a softer side for the performer opposite her. It's a challenge that would have been great to see her tackle, added on without the use of sight.
Rutger Hauer [Height: 6' 1", Age: 40 (In 1984), Notable Works: Blade Runner, Nighthawks, A Breed Apart]: Rutger is an actor who's made himself famous from playing sinister villains. He always adds a such a new dimension to his characters. Seeing him as Roy Batty in Blade Runner and comparing him to the other actors I was considering, he seemed like a perfect fit. He had a great athletic build, a frightening voice, and the talent to play such a maniac as Dolarhyde with the emotional turmoil the character faces. He would have been absolutely remarkable in the role.