While the future of Hannibal hangs in limbo, #Fannibals can still lick their lips in anticipation of the upcoming Red Dragon arc, which will purportedly take up the second half of the third season. Bryan Fuller’s gorgeous Grand Guignol reimagining of the Hannibal Lecter mythos will return to Thomas Harris’s first Lecter novel, from which the Will Graham character comes (the first season is a sort of prologue to the novel). Red Dragon depicts the chilling exploits of a man named Francis Dolarhyde, slapped with the moniker the Tooth Fairy by the tabloids. Dolarhyde is (figuratively) transforming into a dragon, drawing inspiration from William Blake’s painting The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed With the Sun, misidentified in the novel as Blake’s The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun. He was brought to startling life by Tom Noonan in Michael Mann’s cult classic Manhunter in 1986, and more banal life by Ralph Fiennes in Brett Ratner’s underwhelming Red Dragon in 2002. In Hannibal, Dolarhyde is portrayed by Richard Armitage (The Hobbit trilogy).
*A previous version of this article misidentified the misidentified painting in Harris’ novel.
The sneak peek of Dolarhyde, which screened at Comic-Con, depicts him as a pensive, unsettled individual, seen doing wide-grip pull-ups and having wings tattooed to emulate the muscle-threaded back of Blake’s Red Dragon. The teaser shows that Fuller & Co. are following Harris’s novel closely, retaining the dialogue and intimate moments (the bling woman trying to touch Dolarhyde’s face to see if he’s smiling) that made it a pulp classic and one of David Foster Wallace’s favorite novels.