Nearly 20 years after she was last seen onscreen, Clarice Starling is back. The FBI agent introduced in Thomas Harris’ 1988 novel The Silence of the Lambs was the blueprint for many characters across the spectrum of popular culture — from Dana Scully to Emily Blunt’s rookie agent in Sicario. But despite the abundant adaptations of Hannibal Lecter in both TV and film, Clarice Starling herself hasn’t been seen onscreen since 2001’s Hannibal. That will change with CBS’ upcoming crime drama Clarice, a sequel series to The Silence of the Lambs. Watch the first short Clarice trailer below.
Rebecca Breeds (The Originals) has the unenviable task of stepping into Jodie Foster and Julianne Moore’s shoes as Clarice Starling, the FBI agent who goes head-to-head against Hannibal the Cannibal. But we don’t really get to see her in the role apart from some brief glimpses of her back, and flashes of the familiar imagery from The Silence of the Lambs, including lots of flying moths and a look at the lair of Buffalo Bill, who was the primary antagonist in Clarice’s first case involving Hannibal.
I have to admit I’m a little skeptical about Clarice — I’m uncertain whether Breeds can capture the magic of Foster’s iconic performance as Clarice in 1991’s Silence of the Lambs, and I wonder how a new depiction of Clarice will hold up in a genre that’s saturated with characters inspired by her. But it is exciting to see the character onscreen after so long — unlike the serial killer Hannibal Lecter, Clarice was caught up in a rights battle with MGM over Harris’ characters, leading to her absence from NBC’s spectacular Hannibal series. And we all rolled our eyes at Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal series, which ended up being a masterpiece, so I’ll give Clarice the benefit of the doubt.
The new series also stars Marnee Carpenter as Catherine Martin (the U.S. senator’s daughter that Bill kidnapped in the original film) and Devyn Tyler as Ardelia Mapp (Starling’s friend and colleague). Rounding out the cast are Michael Cudlitz as Paul Krendler, Lucca de Oliveira as Tomas Esquivel, Kal Penn as Shaan Tripathi, and Nick Sandow as Agent Clarke. Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet, Elizabeth Klaviter and Heather Kadin serve as executive producers.
Here is the official description for Clarice:
Clarice is a deep dive into the untold personal story of FBI Agent Clarice Starling as she returns to the field in 1993, one year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs. Brilliant and vulnerable, Clarice’s bravery gives her an inner light that draws monsters and madmen to her. However, her complex psychological makeup that comes from a challenging childhood empowers her to begin to find her voice while working in a man’s world, as well as escape the family secrets that have haunted her throughout her life.
Clarice will premiere on CBS on Thursday, February 11, 2021.
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