In The Blacklist, James Spader plays one of the most cunning criminals on television with great success. Nowadays it can be hard to imagine someone other than Spader as Raymond “Red” Reddington, but before the producers released the series in September 2013, certain counter factors almost caused us to see it with another protagonist.
The Blacklist captured its audience from the first moment that Raymond “Red” Reddington, magnificently played by James Spader, turns himself in to the FBI with the claim of wanting to help track down and capture some of the criminals he spent the last two with. decades of his life working.
Months before the release of The Blacklist, the producers “the three J”, Jon Bokenkamp, John Fox and John Eisendrath, had an idea about an FBI unit that would catch the main criminals. To create Raymond Reddington they were inspired by the real life criminal, Whitey Bulger.
As for who could play Red, the producers admitted that they initially had no one specific in mind, not because they hadn’t thought of James Spader, but mainly because at the time the show was being planned they knew the actor was busy with other projects.