Hannibal returns to America and attempts to make contact with disgraced Agent Starling and survive a vengeful victim’s plan.

It’s been ten years since Hannibal escaped and he’s hiding out in Italy, a former victim, Mason Verger, is determined to capture him so he can torture and kill him after what he did to him. Clarice is brought in and is soon back on his trail, the game of cat and mouse begins.

With this film we get to see more of Dr. Lecter, his mannerisms, his genius and his madness. With Hopkins back in the role he slips straight back in-to character with ease, you get the feeling it’s a role he loves to play and it shows on screen. Also the addition of Gary Oldman as Mason Verger was fantastic, Oldman truly en-captures every role he plays and he is a very convincing actor, not every actor can make you feel sympathy for a child molester.

Unfortunately Jodie Foster declined to reprise the role of Clarice Starling, she was filming another movie at the time and also felt the way they were playing the role was wrong, but Julianne Moore does a great job to carry on the part, admittedly she’s not as good as Foster was in “Silence Of The Lambs” but you can’t really expect her to be.

The storyline for the film is fantastic, to release a sequel to a huge blockbuster ten years on is a bit of a risk, but it was in no way a let down. A-lot of people argue that it took away a-lot of the mystique of Lecter, I feel it made him even more frightening and I felt privileged to have an insight into his mad genius of a mind, he’s a character I truly love seeing on screen so for him to have more screen time this time round was great.

The movie unfairly has a bad reputation, I think that this carries on and amplifies the story between Dr. Lecter and Clarice Starling, the sexual tension is as clear as day, you get the feeling they wouldn’t know what to do without each other.

If you are one of the people that has stayed away from this film because of the bad reviews then please give it a try, even if it’s just out of curiosity of what happens, it is well worth a watch.

Miscellaneous facts about the film:

  • When Jodie Foster declined to reprise the role of Clarice Starling, Julianne Moore beat Gillian Anderson, Cate Blanchett, Hilary Swank, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Heather Locklear, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Drew Barrymore, Winona Ryder, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Kristin Davis, Bridget Fonda, Calista Flockhart, Helen Hunt, Sandra Bullock, Christina Applegate, Jennifer Connelly, Meg Ryan, Shannen Doherty, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Eggert and Teri Hatcher for the role. Anderson fell out of the running early on when it was discovered her contract to The X-Files prohibited her from playing another FBI agent. Davis and Parker both turned down the part due to their contract to HBO’s Sex and the City. Flockhart declined due to her contract to Ally McBeal.
  • After Thomas Harris finished writing the novel, he sent copies to The Silence of the Lambs principals Jonathan Demme, Jodie Foster, Ted Tally, and Anthony Hopkins for approval. The screenplay was rewritten no less than 15 times because of dissatisfaction by Demme and Foster over new character elements. In the end, neither Demme nor Foster remained with the production.
  • The outdoor opera, Dante’s “La Vita Nuova”, which Dr. Lecter and Mr. Pazzi see in Florence, was especially composed for the movie. Composer Patrick Cassidy did not stop at the three minute part as performed in the movie, but composed an entire aria, “Vide Cor Meum”.
  • Some of the places where the movie was filmed include places where filming hardly ever is allowed. Author Thomas Harris, while doing research for his book, got in contact with the heir of the Palazzo Capponi. For the movie this same heir allowed Ridley Scott to film the Capponi Library.
  • The first shot of Florence after the movie starts is the same scene as depicted in the drawing on Hannibal’s cell wall Hannibal describes to Clarice in The Silence of the Lambs- the Duomo, as seen from the Belvedere, in Florence, Italy.
  • Dr. Lecter’s Florentine alias, Dr. Fell, is taken from a rhyming epigram by 17th century English satirist Thomas Brown: “I do not love thee, Dr. Fell; The reason why I cannot tell. But this alone I know full well: I do not love thee, Dr. Fell.” The alias is also a reference to the “Silence of the Lambs” book where Jame Gumb, a.k.a. Buffalo Bill, lived in Fell Street.
  • The music during the opening credits is “Aria da Capo” from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations, as being played by Glenn Gould, a tape of which was playing while Lecter killed the two guards in Tennessee in The Silence of the Lambs.
  • There is a vegetarian cookbook on top of the fridge in the “dinner scene” toward the end of the movie. It’s visible when Hannibal pushes Clarice against the fridge.
  • In Florence, where part of the movie was shot, it is possible to buy a tourist guide called: “Hannibal Lecter. Visit the places of the city where he was.”
  • In the opening credits of the film you can make out the face of Anthony Hopkins being formed by pigeons until the end of the credits when you can clearly see his face.
  • Actual North Carolina State Troopers were used for the filming. They can be seen both in the search of the Verger home and driving their cruisers.
  • Hannibal asks Pazzi about being demoted from the Il Mostro case. Il Mostro was a serial killer about whom Hannibal gives clues to Pazzi. This was a subplot that was filmed but never used as it was thought to be too complicated.
  • This film was publicized as having the highest body count in a movie.
  • According to the film’s cinematographer John Mathieson, three separate endings were filmed. The filmmakers, unsure as to whether the ending of Thomas Harris’ novel would work for the movie, filmed three versions: one for Harris, one for producer Dino De Laurentiis, and one for director Ridley Scott.
  • After Jodie Foster and Jonathan Demme dropped out, Anthony Hopkins was very reluctant in returning to play Lecter, and producers considered ‘Tim Roth’ as a replacement.
  • Mason Verger’s mansion is also seen in Ri¢hie Ri¢h as the Rich Mansion.
  • The Verger role was originally offered to Christopher Reeve, who declined the part.
  • Several of the extras in the movie and some minor roles in the Florence scenes were recruited by Anthony Hopkins. He also helped to secure some locales for shooting.
  • According to an interview with producer Martha De Laurentiis in The Guardian, Gary Oldman demanded to share star billing alongside Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore. When the producers denied him this, he threatened to quit the film but later angrily demanded to have no billing at all. During pre-production, producer Dino De Laurentiis announced Oldman’s involvement at a press conference “just so we couldn’t deny that he was in the movie”. In the original theatrical release, Oldman is uncredited but in the VHS and DVD releases his name was added to the closing credits. However, in an interview with IGN Filmforce, Oldman told a different story stating: “We thought that as I’m unofficially the man of many faces, you know, of Lee Harvey Oswald, Dracula, Sid Vicious and Ludwig van Beethoven, we thought that I would be… I’m playing the man with no face. So we just had a bit of fun with it. We thought it would be great. The man with no face and no name, and sort of do it anonymously. It’s no secret that I’m in the film. We just had fun with it, really.”
  • David Mamet’s adaptation of the novel was changed entirely by Steven Zaillian. But Mamet still retained a co-writer credit, in accordance with WGA regulations.
  • The 500lb man-eating hogs featured in Hannibal were selected by Ridley Scott from an audition of over 6,000 other hogs. They were purchased from a farmer, Chaloem Pasak, who lives north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Originally, a teaser poster released in the UK had a picture of Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) with a “skin mask” covering the right side of his face, ala the infamous escape scene in The Silence of the Lambs. The poster was quickly pulled from advertisement, as it was seen as being “too shocking and disturbing” for the public.
  • David Fincher was first slated to direct the film but dropped out.
  • Margot Verger (Mason’s sister), Ardelia Mapp, and Dr. Doemling were all major characters removed from the film adaptation of Hannibal but some of Domeling’s and Margot’s dialogue ended up in the film spoken by Cordell and Mason.
  • Originally, it was hoped that this film would re-unite the principal players from The Silence of the Lambs. It turned out that only Anthony Hopkins and Frankie Faison returned for this film. However, it turned out to be a reunion for Hopkins anyway, as he had previously worked with Julianne Moore in Surviving Picasso and Gary Oldman in Dracula.
  • Though Hopkins had no official say in who would play Clarice, Ridley Scott consulted with him about the actresses he was considering. Hopkins recommended Julianne Moore.

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