There have now been three adaptations of Thomas Harris’ seminal crime novel Red Dragon, the first book to feature the now-iconic character of Hannibal Lecter. He’s a cannibal, sure, but he’s kind of charming in his own terrifying way–no wonder they keep making things about him!
He first appeared in a movie called Manhunter, directed by Michael Mann. The story was remade in 2002 by Brett Ratner as a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. And it was done yet again just this summer in Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal TV series. They’re very different versions of the same story, but one scene in particular remained very much the same in all of them, as editor Matthew Morettini illustrates.
Sometimes a good scene just needs to stay the way it is, and from this evidence, it’s pretty clear that the screenwriters all thought that Harris’ original confrontation between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter needed to stay as untouched as possible. It’s also pretty amazing to watch all three interpretations of Lecter right next to each other, from the laconic Brian Cox to the almost-laughing Anthony Hopkins to the eminently smug Mads Mikkelsen. All are dangerous in their own way, all with own very distinct take on the famous serial killer.
What I did miss in the TV version is the stuff about how Graham caught Lecter. In the book and the two films, it’s established that Graham’s dogged perseverance is what brought Hannibal to justice, but in the TV show, it was more complicated and Hannibal ended up turning himself in. This meant we didn’t get to hear Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy have my favorite exchange:
Lecter: “How did you catch me?”
Graham: “You had certain…disadvantages.”
Lecter: “What disadvantages?”
Graham: “You’re insane.”
Ah, it’s music to my ears. Even without that piece, this mashup proves just how great this scene is, no matter who’s in it, who’s directing it, or what year it was made.
You can see more of Matthew Morettini’s editing work here. Which is your favorite version of the scene? Let me know in the comments below!
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!