Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the sophisticated killer, comes out of hiding to draw FBI agent Clarice Starling into a high-stakes battle that will test her strength, cunning... and loyalty.
"On a similar note I must confess to you, I'm giving very serious thought... to eating your wife."
- Hannibal Lecter
Upon hearing Ridley Scott was planning to film the sequel to The Silence of the Lambs
back in 2000, I was thrilled but skeptical. I searched for extra information across the web including filming locations, budget, ect. But when I took a look at the cast and crew, I damn near shit my pants! Where the fuck was Jodie Foster?! How could they film the sequel, to one of the greatest thrillers of all time, without the main actress?! Well, I'll tell you how.
I had always seen Jodie Foster as one of those actresses who was in alot of high-budget films, but never overly impressed me until The Silence of the Lambs
was released in 1991. So for about 10 years I respected her a bit more but continued to not give her films any attention. Then, she landed on the top of my shit list after her idiot decision not to reprise her role as Special Agent Clarice Starling in the sequel, Hannibal
. It's not the fact that she didn't sign onto the film, it's why
Jodie Foster demanded the end of the script be changed. Oh yes. Her pompous ass marched into the studio and refused to play the role of Clarice Starling if the famous "brain eating" scene wasn't removed from the script. Ok, if I was an executive at the studio when this skinny bitch trampled through the doors, I would've laughed in her face! Why would she have accepted the role for The Silence of the Lambs
when she knew there was cannibalism, mutilation and all kinds of mayhem? Lecter wears another mans face for fuck sake! And poor little Jodie can't bear to be involved in a film where a mans skull cap is removed for a taste test? Oh puhleeese.
Considering Jodie Foster
could have ruined the film by having another actress play the role, she didn't! The studio cast the beautiful Julianne Moore, who remarkably pulled it off! While watching her through the film, you begin to appreciate the work she did preparing for the role. Her accent and body movements are nearly identical to
Jodie Fosters portrayal. A+ for Julianne Moore.
Anthony Hopkins is, of course, amazing. In Hannibal
, Dr. Hannibal Lecter seems much less menacing and somewhat pleasant. Which isn't all that bad!
Contrary to what the trailer claims, Dr. Lecter is simply living his life peacefully
in Florence, Italy while giving seminars on the history of classical art.
Cue the entry of
Insp. Renaldo Pazzi
who discovers Lecter's identity
and is attempting to cash in on the FBI's $250,000.00 reward. Bad idea.
By far the best character in the film is Mason Verger (played by Gary Oldman) who was a former lover of Dr. Lecters. During a sexual encounter, Dr. Lecter offered a "popper" which Mason kindly accepted. (popper: noun - a container of stimulant drug. contains amyl nitrate or butyl nitrite
) After the stimulant immediately kicked in, Lecter handed Mason a piece of broken glass and informed him to try ripping off his face and feeding it to the dogs. Which he did. Classic. Perfect. (See video clip.) Through the film, Mason his horrendously disfigured from the encounter and is Hell-bent on punishing Lecter.
is a respectable addition to the Hannibal Lecter legacy. And even though it seemed the film was doomed to failure, it came out nearly stellar on the other side. If you enjoyed The Silence of the Lambs
, this is a must have!
- When Jodie Foster declined to reprise the role of Clarice Starling, Julianne Moore beat Gillian Anderson, Cate Blanchett, Hilary Swank, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Winona Ryder and Helen Hunt 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.
- 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.
- Mason's mansion is actually the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.
- Krendler's lake house with the boat dock is the same house used in the film What About Bob?
- 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 opera.
- 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 J. Gump, 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, a tape of which was playing while Lecter killed the two guards in Tennessee in The Silence of the Lambs.
- Veteran character actor Frankie Faison has appeared in all four of the "Hannibal" movies. He played Lieutenant Fisk in Manhunter (1986) and played Barney the asylum orderly in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002).
- Giancarlo Giannini (Inspector Pazzi) was in the film Cervellini fritti impanati, which translates as "Fried Crumbed Brains".
- A poster can be seen near a newsstand for Gladiator, also directed by Ridley Scott.
- 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 sort of 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
- Keep watching after the credits.
- The film was first rated "Not under 16" in Germany. But after some test-screenings, many youth organizations and parents criticized the rating and called for a re-rating. After this re-rating by the FSK (the MPAA in Germany), it now is rated "Not under 18". Similarly, in Australia the film originally received an MA15+ classification but it was changed a week after released to R18+ due to protests.
- In the scene in the Italian police station, the soccer match on TV is from England and involves Aston Villa. Their player Julian Joachim is seen in close-up.
- 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.
- The baby that Clarice Starling washes blood off - just after the shootout sequence - is animatronic.
- 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.
- The dollar serial numbers are the same for at least three bills: G16134024A.
- 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: "[W]e thought that as I'm unofficially the man of many faces, you know, of Lee Harvey Oswald, Dracula, and Sid Vicious, and 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 (Hopkins) with a "skin mask" covering the right side of his face, ala the infamous escape scene in Silence of the Lambs. The poster was quickly pulled from advertisement, as it was seen as being "too shocking and disturbing" for the public.
- The phone number in regards to the $3,000,000 Hanibal Lector award on the FBI web site is listed as 1-212-555-0118. Once he calls this number Pazzi is referred to a lawyer in Geneva, his number is 004123317. The last digit (or maybe first) is not heard.
- In the scene where Pazzi washes the blood off of his hands at the fountain, the statue that the water comes out of is a reference to the pigs used in the "pig-massacre" scene.
- Ray Liotta actually ate dark chicken meat during the "brain-eating scene".
- During the brain-eating sequence there is a small boar's-head trophy mounted on the wall just above and behind Ray Liotta; another reference to the pig massacre scene.
- A special animatronic puppet of Ray Liotta was used for some parts of the brain-eating scene. Liotta himself has said that he's not sure exactly which shots are actually him or the puppet.
- In the book, Mason Verger died when his sister shoved an electric eel down his throat. As this ending was considered radically violent, the character of Verger's sister was written out of the final screenplay, and Verger's death altered to take place in the wild boar scene. The electric eel, however, does make a brief appearance in a scene between Verger and Clarice.