Hannibal Details Revealed

Book's ending proved too violent for the big screen

by Willow Green |
Published on

Director Ridley Scott has confirmed that the horrific ending of Hannibal has been changed in the book's transition to the big screen. Speaking at a press conference held in Florence this morning, the director said 'Steve [Zaillian] had a difficult task adapting the book. It's not easy condensing 600 pages into a script and still retaining the spirit.' Scott went on to say that he, 'enjoyed the book, but the ending was a big question for me…I couldn't quite accept it. Because Harris was open to suggestions, the ending has been changed. I think it's correct for the film but I'm not going to reveal what it is.' Both Anthony Hopkins and co-star Julianne Moore were in attendance this morning at the Palazzo Vecchio in the centre of Florence. Hopkins, sporting a white panama hat and dark sunglasses which he refused to take off, was already in character it seems. On his decision to reprise the role of Lecter, Hopkins said, 'I'm glad to have emerged after ten years - it's great to be back. When asked what sort of diet he had adopted in preparation for his role as the murderous cannibal, he replied, 'fava beans'. Despite being asked many questions about his decision to renounce UK citizenship, Hopkins refused to comment, saying only, 'That's none of your business.' Moore admitted she was nervous about following in Jodie Foster's footsteps, but added that, 'the new Clarice would be very different, 'Of course people are going to compare my interpretation with that of Jodie Foster's, which was wonderful, but the film is going to be very different…the biggest change is that it's ten years on. In Silence of the Lambs Clarice was a student - in Hannibal she has a lot more authority. She's moved on.' Moore flies back to America on Friday to start training for the film under a female FBI agent. When asked by reporters how he felt that Jodie Foster hadn't signed to do to the sequel, Ridley explained that he thought two things were responsible for Fosters decision. 'Firstly, it's ten years since Jodie played Clarice…Jodie's an interesting woman - she's now a director and a project she'd been hoping to do for some time came up (Flora Plum). The money came through and Russell Crowe came on board so she had to go. Also it's an intuitive thing. She's been there before and decided she didn't want to go back again.' A few more details about the production were revealed today, including the confirmation that both Ray Liotta and Gary Oldman have signed to the production. Liotta will play Paul Krendler - Clarice's troublesome Justice Department colleague and Oldman will play the hideously disfigured Mason Verger. Hannibal, which is set to cost $80m starts shooting in Florence on 8 May for 5 weeks followed by a brief location shoot in Sardinia before returning to the States to film in Washington, Richmond and north Carolina. In a neat touch that Lecter himself would be proud of, the film is due to be released in the States on Valentine's Day 2001. Empire Online's Correspondent: Melanie Goodfellow

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