Hannibal Lecter (franchise)

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Hannibal Lecter
The Hannibal Lecter series of novels
Created byThomas Harris
Original workRed Dragon
OwnerAmazon MGM Studios
(through Orion Pictures unit)
Print publications
Films and television
Television series

The Hannibal Lecter franchise is an American media franchise based around the titular character, Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant, cannibalistic serial killer whose assistance is routinely sought out by law enforcement personnel to aid in the capture of other criminals. He originally appeared in a series of novels (starting with Red Dragon in 1981) by Thomas Harris. The series has since expanded into film and television, having four timeline-connected franchise films produced by Dino De Laurentiis Company: The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Hannibal (2001), Red Dragon (2002) and Hannibal Rising (2007), with three starring Anthony Hopkins.


Red Dragon (1981)[edit]

The Silence of the Lambs (1988)[edit]

Hannibal (1999)[edit]

Hannibal Rising (2006)[edit]


Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Producer(s)
Manhunter August 15, 1986 (1986-08-15) Michael Mann Richard A. Roth
The Silence of the Lambs February 14, 1991 (1991-02-14) Jonathan Demme Ted Tally Ron Bozman, Kenneth Utt & Edward Saxon
Hannibal February 9, 2001 (2001-02-09) Ridley Scott David Mamet & Steven Zaillian Ridley Scott, Dino De Laurentiis & Martha De Laurentiis
Red Dragon October 4, 2002 (2002-10-04) Brett Ratner Ted Tally Dino De Laurentiis & Martha De Laurentiis
Hannibal Rising February 9, 2007 (2007-02-09) Peter Webber Thomas Harris Tarak Ben Ammar, Dino De Laurentiis & Martha De Laurentiis

Manhunter (1986)[edit]

The first adaptation was the 1986 film Manhunter, which was an adaptation of Red Dragon, directed by Michael Mann. Brian Cox stars as Hannibal Lecter (in the film, the surname is changed to Lecktor).

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)[edit]

The next adaptation was 1991's The Silence of the Lambs, which was directed by Jonathan Demme and was the first film to feature Anthony Hopkins in the role of Hannibal Lecter. Silence was a success, both critically and financially, and went on to become the third film in Academy Awards history to win in all top five categories (Best Actor for Hopkins, Best Actress for Jodie Foster, Best Director for Demme, Best Adapted Screenplay for Ted Tally, and Best Picture).

Hannibal (2001)[edit]

Hopkins reprised the role in 2001's Hannibal, a sequel directed by Ridley Scott.

Red Dragon (2002)[edit]

Hopkins once again reprised the role in Red Dragon, a prequel directed by Brett Ratner. In 2002, Hopkins revealed that he had written a screenplay for another sequel, ending with Clarice Starling killing Lecter, but it was not produced.[1]

Hannibal Rising (2007)[edit]

In 2007, Hannibal Rising was released. The film is a prequel, directed by Peter Webber and starring Gaspard Ulliel as Lecter.


Series Seasons Episodes First released Last released Showrunner(s) Network(s)
Hannibal 3 39 April 4, 2013 (2013-04-04) August 29, 2015 (2015-08-29) Bryan Fuller NBC
Clarice 1 13 February 11, 2021 (2021-02-11) June 24, 2021 (2021-06-24) Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman CBS

Hannibal (2013–2015)[edit]

In 2013, the TV series Hannibal premiered. Developed by Bryan Fuller, it is not a direct adaptation, but based on characters and elements from the novels. Some male characters have become female, such as Freddy Lounds, who is renamed Fredricka "Freddie" Lounds. The series has garnered much critical acclaim since its premiere, winning the 2014 and 2015 Saturn Awards for Best Network Television Series, as well as the inaugural Best Action-Thriller Television Series award in 2016.

Clarice (2021)[edit]

In May 2012, Lifetime announced to develop a television series centered on Starling after her graduation from the FBI academy, which was to be produced by MGM;[2] the project was never picked up and was shelved. CBS later developed the series of the same name, with Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet as producers, as a sequel to The Silence of the Lambs set in 1993,[3] starring Rebecca Breeds as Starling.[4] The show premiered in 2021.

Cast and characters[edit]

Character Films Television series
Manhunter The Silence of the Lambs Hannibal Red Dragon Hannibal Rising Hannibal Clarice
1986 1991 2001 2002 2007 2013–2015 2021
Hannibal Lecter Brian Cox
(as Hannibal Lecktor)
Anthony Hopkins Gaspard Ulliel
Aaran ThomasY
Mads Mikkelsen
Clarice Starling Jodie Foster
Masha SkorobogatovY
Julianne Moore Rebecca Breeds
Maya McNairY
Will Graham William Petersen Edward Norton Hugh Dancy
Jack Crawford Dennis Farina Scott Glenn Harvey Keitel Laurence Fishburne
Frederick Chilton Benjamin Hendrickson Anthony Heald Anthony Heald Raúl Esparza
Francis Dolarhyde
(The Tooth Fairy)
Tom Noonan
(as Francis Dollarhyde)
Ralph Fiennes
Alex D. LinzY
Richard Armitage
Buffalo Bill
(Jame Gumb)
Ted Levine Simon Northwood
Barney Matthews Frankie Faison Jonathan Tucker
(as Matthew Brown)
Freddy Lounds Stephen Lang Philip Seymour Hoffman Lara Jean Chorostecki
(as Fredricka "Freddie" Lounds)
Mason Verger Gary Oldman Michael Pitt
Joe Anderson
Paul Krendler Ron Vawter Ray Liotta Cynthia Nixon
(as Kade Prurnell)[5]
Michael Cudlitz
Reba McClane Joan Allen Emily Watson Rutina Wesley
Molly Graham Kim Greist Mary-Louise Parker Nina Arianda
Rinaldo Pazzi Giancarlo Giannini Fortunato Cerlino
Cordell Doemling Željko Ivanek Glenn Fleshler
Margot Verger Katharine Isabelle
Vladis Grutas Rhys Ifans
Lady Murasaki Gong Li
Alan Bloom Paul Perri
(as Sidney Bloom)
Caroline Dhavernas
(as Alana Bloom)
Beverly Katz Michele Shay Elizabeth Dennehy
(as Beverly)
Hettienne Park
Jimmy Price Dan Butler Stanley Anderson Scott Thompson
Brian Zeller Chris Elliott
(as Zeller)
Aaron Abrams
Lloyd Bowman Bill Smitrovich Ken Leung
Chiyoh Tao Okamoto
Bedelia Du Maurier Gillian Anderson
Abel Gideon Eddie Izzard
Ardelia Mapp Kasi Lemmons Devyn A. Tyler
Catherine Martin Brooke Smith Marnee Carpenter
Ruth Martin Diane Baker Jayne Atkinson


Box office performance[edit]

The Hannibal Lecter films, when compared to other top-grossing American horror franchises—Alien vs. Predator, Candyman, Child's Play, The Conjuring, The Exorcist, Evil Dead, Final Destination, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Hellraiser, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Jaws, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Omen, Paranormal Activity, Psycho, The Purge, Saw, Scream, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre—is one of the highest grossing horror film franchises.

Critical reception[edit]

Title Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Manhunter 94% (49 reviews)[6] 75 (22 reviews)[7]
The Silence of the Lambs 95% (153 reviews)[8] 86 (20 reviews)[9]
Hannibal 39% (172 reviews)[10] 57 (36 reviews)[11]
Red Dragon 69% (191 reviews)[12] 60 (36 reviews)[13]
Hannibal Rising 16% (148 reviews)[14] 35 (30 reviews)[15]
Hannibal - Season 1 (2013) 82% (68 reviews)[16] 70 (32 reviews)[17]
Hannibal - Season 2 (2014) 98% (45 reviews)[18] 88 (14 reviews)[19]
Hannibal - Season 3 (2015) 98% (47 reviews)[20] 84 (15 reviews)[21]
Clarice 42% (48 reviews)[22] 56 (33 reviews)[23]


In 2005, comedian-musicians Jon and Al Kaplan, most famous for their musical re-imaginings of popular films as YouTube musicals, parodied The Silence of the Lambs, especially the film version, in Silence! The Musical. It premiered Off-Off-Broadway and has since had acclaimed productions in London (2009) and Los Angeles (2012). In 2012, it won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle – Score, Lead Performance, Choreography Award.[24]

In 2016, rock band Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends released their second record, The Art of Murder,[25] a concept album which was "directly inspired by the Hannibal Lecter series of books by Thomas Harris".[26]


  1. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (October 3, 2002). "Marquee names serve up another helping of Hannibal". USA Today. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  2. ^ Schneider, Michael (May 25, 2012). "Exclusive: Lifetime Developing Clarice, Based on Silence of the Lambs Character". TV Guide. Portland, Oregon: NTVB Media. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 12, 2020). "'Silence Of The Lambs' Sequel Series 'Clarice' Set At CBS From Alex Kurtzman & Jenny Lumet". Deadline.
  4. ^ "'Clarice': Rebecca Breeds Cast in the Title Role of CBS' 'Silence of the Lambs' Sequel Pilot". 26 February 2020.
  5. ^ VanDerWerff, Emily (March 8, 2014). "Hannibal's Bryan Fuller on blending Busby Berkeley with murder". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 6, 2019. Kade Prurnell is an anagram of a character from Hannibal, actually the Ray Liotta character. So it's like, "Your anagrams are showing, Dr. Lecter". We couldn't get the rights to that character, because that character originated in Silence of the Lambs. The character's name was Paul Krendler, and we wanted to call her Paula Krendler, and they said no, because the way the rights go, it's not by the literature, it's actually by the character's introduction. So if a character is first seen in Silence of the Lambs, we're screwed, as far as rights go. In order to change the character so it's not that but sort of services the same mythology in the show and reinvent the character in a way that won't get us sued, [Laughs.] we anagrammed her and made her slightly different from the character in both Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal to our own purposes.
  6. ^ "Manhunter RT: Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  7. ^ "Manhunter MC: Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  8. ^ "Silence of the Lambs RT: Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  9. ^ "Silence of the Lambs MC: Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  10. ^ "Hannibal RT: Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  11. ^ "Hannibal MC: Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  12. ^ "Red Dragon RT: Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  13. ^ "Red Dragon MC: Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  14. ^ "Hannibal Rising RT: Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  15. ^ "Hannibal Rising MC: Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  16. ^ "Hannibal: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  17. ^ "Hannibal Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  18. ^ "Hannibal: Season 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  19. ^ "Hannibal Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  20. ^ "Hannibal: Season 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  21. ^ "Hannibal Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  22. ^ "Clarice: Season 1 (2021)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  23. ^ "Clarice: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  24. ^ "Home". silencethemusicalnyc.com.
  25. ^ "The Art of Murder". bandcamp.com. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  26. ^ "The Art Of Murder – Alternative Tentacles Records". alternative tentacles. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2021.