Moore ‘Looking Forward’ To Hannibal

Actress in final negotiations over role

by empire |
Published on

It's been the question on everybody's lips: would Julianne Moore replace Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling in Hannibal, Ridley Scott's forthcoming adaptation of novelist Thomas Harris' gruesome sequel to The Silence of the Lambs? Moore, who received her second Oscar nomination yesterday for her role in Neil Jordan's The End of the Affair, was present at the Berlin Film Festival to support Paul Thomas Anderson's three-hour suburban epic Magnolia, in which she plays the emotionally-unstable trophy wife of a dying cancer victim (played by Jason Robards). Yet Moore - who recently signed up for Sixth Sense director M.Night Shyamalan's next project, Unbreakable - found herself quizzed about the contentious Hannibal role, already turned down by Elizabeth star Cate Blanchett. "In terms of Hannibal, I'm very, very excited about it. We're in negotiations and I'm looking forward to it," she said. Moore later admitted she had read the script, but denied that she had met with either Foster or Sir Anthony Hopkins, the actor who signed on last December to reprise his role as the serial killer Hannibal Lecter. But when questioned upon a start date, she said "When will we shoot the movie? In the Summer - May." Such statements are the most positive indicators yet that the 38 year-old flame-haired Moore will take the role of the rookie FBI agent vacated by Foster, who stepped down partly so that she could undertake her third directorial effort, the Claire Danes-Russell Crowe vehicle Flora Plum. The Universal Pictures production has been troubled from the beginning, with both Foster and Jonathan Demme, director of Hannibal's multi-Oscar winning predecessor, balking at the novel's violent content. While producer Dino De Laurentiis paid $9 million for the rights to produce the sequel, the first draft proffered by chosen writer David Mamet was rejected, with writer Steve Zaillian brought on board as a replacement in an effort to deal with the novel's more graphic elements.

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