Clarice will take place six months after the events of the 1991 film starring Jodie Foster and Sir Anthony Hopkins. However, the series can’t show nor talk about Hopkins’ iconic character due to a licensing issue.
Show creator Alex Kurtzman told Entertainment Weekly that MGM and author Thomas Harris divided the rights to the characters of Silence of the Lambs. Unfortunately, MGM owns Hannibal Lecter. Essentially, he will be “He Who Shall Not Be Named” in the series.
However, Kurtzman sees this as a blessing in disguise because it gave the writers more freedom to explore their main character, FBI Agent Clarice Starling.
“It’s been quite liberating,” Kurtzman said. “[Hannibal] was done so well by so many people that it didn’t feel fresh for us.”
But one character from the original story will be a major part of the series. The story of Catherine Martin, the Senator’s daughter the FBI rescued from captivity, will also be explored in this CBS drama.
Kurtzman described Catherine as the “strange, fun-house-mirror version” of Clarice. Both women had the same traumatic experience, but the show will present the different ways this trauma has impacted their lives.
The series will kick off with Catherine as the new adoptive pet parent of Buffalo Bill’s dog, Precious. Film viewers will recall that Precious amused Catherine while she remained stuck in that well at Buffalo Bill’s house.
“[That dog] represented torture, the dog that represented the killer, the dog that represented everything,” Kurtzman said. “The dog also represented warmth, and light and freedom. The only warmth she had in this stone room.”
Clarice, on the other hand, is back on the field and investigating serial cases while navigating the highly-charged politics in Washington, D.C.
Rebecca Breeds will lead the cast as Clarice Starling, while Marnee Carpenter will play the role of Catherine Martin. Joining them are Michael Cudlitz (Paul Kendler), Kal Penn (Shaan Tripathi), Lucca de Oliveira (Tomas Esquivel), Devyn Tyler (Ardelia Mapp), and Nick Sandow (Agent Clarke).
The series showrunner is Elizabeth Klaviter, with Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet as the executive producers. Maja Vrvilo directed the pilot episode of Clarice, which will premiere on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, on CBS and CBS All Access at 10:00 p.m. EST.
Image courtesy of Eva Rinaldi, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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