Hannibal is a 2001 American crime horror thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, adapted from the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris. It is the sequel to the 1991 Academy Award–winning film The Silence of the Lambs in which Anthony Hopkins returns to his role as the iconic serial killer, Hannibal Lecter. Julianne Moore co-stars, in the role first held by Jodie Foster, as the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Clarice Starling. The film had a difficult and occasionally troubling pre-production history. When the novel was published in 1999, The Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme, screenwriter Ted Tally, and actress Jodie Foster all declined to be involved in its adaptation. Ridley Scott became attached as director after the success of Gladiator (2000), and eventually signed onto the project after reading the script pitched by Dino DeLaurentiis, who produced Manhunter (1986), based on the 1981 Harris novel Red Dragon. After the departure of Foster and screenwriter Tally, Julianne Moore took on Foster's role while David Mamet and Steven Zaillian wrote the screenplay. Set ten years after The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal follows Starling's attempts to apprehend Lecter before his surviving victim, Mason Verger (Gary Oldman), captures him. It is set in Italy and the United States. The novel Hannibal drew attention for its violence. Hannibal broke box office records in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom in February 2001, but was met with a mixed critical reception.
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