Breaking onto the Hollywood scene in the mid-80s, actor Ted Levine earned both worldwide acclaim and revulsion for his portrayal of psychotic serial killer Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb in 1991 Best Picture winner The Silence of the Lambs. While Anthony Hopkins’ Oscar-winning performance as Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter took most of the headlines, Levine managed to craft a truly frightening character, completely devoid of Hannibal’s relative sophistication and sometimes disarming wit.
While Buffalo Bill is still probably Levine’s most famous role, he by no means went away afterward, racking up dozens of credits on both film and TV in the decades since. Illustrating his range as an actor, arguably Levine’s second-most well-known role is that of gruff but kindhearted police captain Leland Stottlemeyer on USA’s long-running detective dramedy Monk. In fact, quite a bit of Levine’s career has been spent playing authority figures, such as cops, judges, and military officers, despite him gaining fame for playing a murderer so convincingly.
According to Variety, the constantly working Levine has just agreed to lend his talents to Universal’s upcoming blockbuster sequel Jurassic World 2. The exact role Levine will play is being kept under wraps for now, as has also been the case for other recent cast additions Daniella Pineda (The Originals), Justice Smith (The Get Down), Rafe Spall (Prometheus), and Toby Jones (Captain America: The First Avenger).
With Levine’s role currently up in the air, one wonders what side of the hero/villain line he’ll end up on in Jurassic World 2. As mentioned above, he has a long history of being able to play both sides of that fence well, having once even played a menacing killer using only his voice in the 2001 highway horror flick Joy Ride. At the same time, Levine has also shown a knack for portraying tough but fair lawful good types like Stottlemeyer.
Levine could very conceivably be playing a new villain for Owen, Claire, and company to tangle with, similar to the part Vincent D’Onofrio played in the first Jurassic World. However, Levine could just as easily portray a badass dinosaur hunter working on the side of the heroes. At this point, it’s hard to make a prediction either way, as actual plot details on Jurassic World 2 remain basically nonexistent. Unfortunately for Silence fans though, Levine likely won’t be stopping to ask Chris Pratt to put the raptor in the basket.