Before “Silence of the Lambs,” Michael Mann introduced the world to Hannibal Lecter through his film “Manhunter” and this week we look back on that movie in the latest episode of Rewind of the Living Dead…
Following the release of the novel “Red Dragon” in 1981 by author Thomas Harris, a film adaptation was put in the works just a few years later with Dino De Laurentiis serving as producer.
The search started for a director capable of adapting the material and David Lynch was initially offered the job but he ultimately turned it down.
That’s when Michael Mann stepped into the role after he had found massive success as a showrunner on the hit series “Miami Vice.” Mann didn’t change a lot from the original book, although he definitely added his signature touch when it came to the visuals and the cinematography including the colorful lighting throughout the film.
William Peterson eventually landed the lead role as retired FBI profiler Will Graham and a British actor named Brian Cox was cast as the serial killer named Hannibal Lecktor.
The title of the film was eventually changed from “Red Dragon” because De Laurentiis had just experienced a flop with the movie “Year of the Dragon” and he didn’t want this adaptation to be confused for some sort of martial arts spectacle.
When the film was released, critics were not kind with one reviewer calling the movie a “chic, well cast wasteland” but eventually years later, Mann’s work gained a cult classic status among cinephiles.
In the latest episode of Rewind of the Living Dead, we’re going to talk into our tape recorders while listening to “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” as we look back on the 1986 film “Manhunter”…
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