Apart from Hannibal Lecter himself, Clarice Starling might be the most popular character to come out of the Thomas Harris novels, so it’s hard not to wonder — are we ever going to see her on the small screen?
As Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller can attest, acquiring the rights to the Silence of the Lambs storyline and characters has been something of a nightmare. He’s been trying to negotiate with MGM, who currently holds the rights, pretty much since the beginning of the series, as he revealed to Digital Spy in 2014.
Well, we tried to get Benjamin Raspail and Jame Gumb in the first season, so that we could tell that story and set up Silence of the Lambs. We tried to work out all manner of deals with MGM, like, “We’ll give you access to use the Hannibal Lecter character in your Silence of the Lambs spinoff show that you’re developing, if you give us, or let us rent, Gumb and Raspail.”
Unfortunately, the studio wasn’t interested, telling Fuller, “Under no circumstances, what’s ours is ours and what’s yours is yours.” At the time, Fuller had no plans to give up trying, and though the interview took place over a year ago, we’re sure Fuller has been in touch with the folks over at MGM since then.
A more recent call with the Hannibal showrunner, however, suggests he might have had more luck this time.
According to SpoilerTV‘s Veronica K., who was able to sit in on a conference call with Fuller, he touched upon the character of Clarice, revealing that he “hoped for a different portrayal and considered what it would mean if she were portrayed as non-white,” because “it would give us her ‘view of the world’ in relation to race, which opens up new possibilities in terms of storytelling.”
Anything at this point is just speculation, though it’s interesting that he would mention the character, first portrayed by Jodie Foster in the Silence of the Lambs film and then by Julianne Moore in the Hannibal movie. Still, as much as fans might want to see Mads Mikkelsen’s Hannibal Lecter square off with such an iconic character, we’re sure Fuller can work around her absence if need be.
Hannibal returns on its new night, Thursday, June 4 at 10 p.m. on NBC.