After declining to write the screenplay for Hannibal, Tally returned to the Hannibal Lecter franchise to write Red Dragon. When asked by Inside Film Online magazine why he opted not to write the screenplay for Hannibal, he responded, "For a lot of reasons. I didn't like the book. The director, Jonathan Demme, and I read it and were horrified. We didn't see how we could make a movie from it that we could be proud of and not feel sleazy about it, without making it a totally different story, which we could have done on our own. It was upsetting because we had a friendship with Tom Harris and felt we owed him a lot. But he was defensive and didn't want anything changed and it was frustrating because it would have been the biggest payday for all of us, putting us up there in Spielberg territory."