×

Norton ready to tame U’s ‘Dragon’

Thesp signs on as U preps 'Lambs' prequel

NEW YORK — Edward Norton has committed to star for director Brett Ratner in “Red Dragon,” Universal’s new adaptation of the 1981 Thomas Harris novel considered a prequel to “Silence of the Lambs.” Anthony Hopkins, who most recently toplined “Hannibal,” is in final talks to play the cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Lecter for the third time, and production is slated to begin by the end of November for a summer 2002 release.

The source material for “Red Dragon” is the same used for “Manhunter,” the thriller directed by Michael Mann in 1986. That film, which starred William Petersen, marked the first screen appearance of Lecter, in the form of actor Brian Cox.

The new film, scripted by Oscar-winning “Silence of the Lambs” scribe Ted Tally, will similarly focus on the attempt by an obsessive former FBI agent to hunt down a brutal serial killer known as the Tooth Fairy. Tally’s script uses elements from the book that didn’t make it to the first movie, and broadens the relationship between the agent and Lecter to fully utilize the box office potential of Hopkins.

The film was fast-tracked by Universal after the Ridley Scott-directed “Hannibal” grossed more than $350 million worldwide for U and partner MGM. “Red Dragon” is being produced by Dino and Martha De Laurentiis.

Norton will play FBI agent Will Graham, who solves crimes by immersing himself so far into the psyche of the serial killer that he risks losing his own identity. His most famous catch was Lecter. In “Red Dragon,” Graham is forced out of retirement, and reacquaints himself with an incarcerated Lecter in hopes of figuring out the motive and identity of the Tooth Fairy before the killer strikes again.

Norton is represented by Endeavor.

More Film

  • Ryan Simpkins

    Ryan Simpkins Joins Fox-Disney's 'Fear Street' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Ryan Simpkins has joined Fox-Disney’s second installment of 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s “Fear Street” trilogy, based on the novels by R.L. Stine. Leigh Janiak is helming all three films. Previously announced cast includes Gillian Jacobs, Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, McCabe Slye, Kiana Madeira, Olivia Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Ashley Zukerman, Fred Hechinger, Julia [...]

  • MPAA Logo

    Motion Picture Association of America Hires Emily Lenzner as Communications Chief

    The Motion Picture Association of America has appointed veteran public relations executive Emily Lenzner as its executive VP of global communications and public affairs. She will report to Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin and oversee the trade group’s communications team in the U.S. and internationally. Lenzner will start Aug. 1 and be based at the MPAA’s [...]

  • 'Cats' Teaser Trailer: See Taylor Swift

    Taylor Swift Unveils Feline Moves in 'Cats' Behind-the-Scenes Teaser

    Taylor Swift fans finally get to see some of the results of all those years spent studying her roommates Meredith and Olivia — and also, not incidentally, some time with a choreographer — in a new behind-the-scenes teaser for the movie “Cats.” The three-and-a-half-minute featurette has footage of Swift striking crouching feline moves as well [...]

  • CGR’s Immersive Premium Format Set for

    Immersive Theater Technology Set for US Debut in Los Angeles

    French multiplex company CGR Cinemas has selected the Regal LA Live as the first U.S. theater to use its Immersive Cinema Experience technology. The ICE format will be unveiled in the fall at the downtown location in a partnership between CGR and AEG. The companies made the announcement Wednesday but did not reveal which title [...]

  • Amazon Developing Original Series Based on

    Amazon Studios Buys 'Selah and the Spades,' Will Develop Original Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon Studios has acquired worldwide rights to “Selah and the Spades,” a gripping look at a prep school drug dealer, Variety has learned. The film marks the feature debut of writer and director Tayarisha Poe and had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival where it was a favorite with critics. Amazon has [...]

  • The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con

    The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con Parties and Activations

    Hollywood is heading down the California coast to San Diego because It’s time for 2019 Comic-Con International. The annual cosplay celebration officially kicks off tomorrow, July 18, with a preview happening tonight. Here, Variety gives you a guide to this year’s parties and activations. Make sure to check back for updates. Wednesday, July 17Amazon Prime [...]

  • The Wound African Cinema Berlin Film

    Finance Forum Brings African WIP Into Focus at Durban FilmMart

    The 10th edition of the Durban FilmMart, which unspools parallel to the 40th Durban Intl. Film Festival, will feature 10 fiction and 10 documentary works-in-progress taking part in its annual Finance Forum. The leading co-production market on the continent, the Forum brings together producers, distributors, sales agents, broadcasters, funding bodies, and other industry players from across the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content