Silence of the Lambs Star Jodie Foster Says She Won't Return as Clarice After Hannibal Sequel Snub

Silence of the Lambs has reemerged in our pop culture consciousness recently, following the launch of the Clarice sequel series on CBS. The series, which follows Clarice Starling (Rebecca Breeds) in the time shortly after the events of Silence of the Lambs, has made some revisit the previous portrayals of the iconic horror heroine -- including Jodie Foster's performance in the original 1991 film. In a recent appearance on Josh Horowitz's Happy Sad Confused podcast, Foster addressed the possibility of her returning to the role, and revealed the reason why she chooses not to follow through with it -- her and Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme not being asked to return for the film's original sequel, Hannibal.

"There's been some stuff over the years about reprising [Clarice], but both Jonathan and I were both disappointed not to do the sequel," Foster explained. "I have never watched that one."

The critical and financial success of Silence of the Lambs eventually led author Thomas Harris to pen two additional novels in the franchise, 1999's Hannibal and 2006's Hannibal Rising. Hannibal was adapted into a Ridley Scott-directed film just two years later, and while Anthony Hopkins returned to the role of Hannibal Lecter, Julianne Moore ended up being recast as Clarice Starling. Both of the subsequent film adaptations -- as well as the 2002 adaptation of Red Dragon, the original novel in Harris' series -- were relatively panned by critics.

"The problem has always been, to me, that Hannibal Lecter works in relief," Brian Cox, who previously played Hannibal Lecter in 1986's Manhunter, previously detailed to ComicBook.com. "When you start focusing on him, you give away his mystery. The great thing about Hannibal Lecter, when I played it, was he was a mysterious character. You didn't know where he was coming from, so that meant that he was even more dangerous, because of his mystery. And of course, Tony [Hopkins] was wonderful, and he did a wonderful job on it, but the scripts became more and more about, 'Who is this guy Hannibal Lecter?' And I think the strength of Hannibal Lecter is that we don't know who he is, that the audience has to make their own conclusions. They have to draw their own conclusions in a way, and I think that's much more interesting."

Arguably, the franchise has done a bit better in the realm of television, particularly with NBC's loose adaptation of the books in Hannibal.

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