Why the Hannibal Series Never Used Silence of the Lambs

Why the Hannibal Series Never Used Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs is one of the most iconic horror films ever made. Jonathan Demme directed a sterling adaptation of Thomas Harris‘ crime novel, and Anthony Hopkins instantly became one of the silver screen’s best boogeymen in his Oscar-winning portrayal of Hannibal Lecter. It’s remarkable that anyone ever tried adapting the world of Hannibal again, let alone becoming as similarly iconic. Welp, Bryan Fuller sure as heck did it! His three-season TV series Hannibal gave us a new Dr. Lecter — Mads Mikkelsen, exceptional — to chew into. And, smartly, it didn’t start with a story we were already oversaturated with. It landed on the relationship between Hannibal and Will Graham, an FBI profiler played by Hugh Dancy. It’s a pleasure to watch these relatively new stories in somewhat familiar worlds… …but still. Wouldn’t it be dope if Hannibal did eventually make it to Silence of the Lambs territory and cast their own Clarice Starling, the FBI trainee who was played in Demme’s film by the Oscar-winning Jodie Foster? In a 90-minute exclusive interview with Collider’s own Steve Weintraub, Fuller explained the legal, studio-politics-saturated reasons why their show, produced and funded in part by the Dino de Laurentiis Company and Gaumont International Television, could never touch the Silence of the Lambs world, owned by MGM — using quite the delightful analogy to boot. “Silence of the Lambs is owned by MGM. What happened early on and why there was sort of a sticking point for us with the Clarice ...
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