Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter stories have been told countless times across films and television, with the Oscar-winning film Silence of the Lambs arguably the most famous among those. Next year, the franchise is set to go into a new direction with Clarice, a Silence of the Lambs sequel series that will follow Clarice Starling after the events of the film. The idea of telling Clarice's story in a completely different era is certainly compelling, and it sounds like the series won't comply with traditional TV drama tropes. In a recent interview on THR's Top 5 podcast, executive producer Alex Kurtzman confirmed that the series will not be a procedural, and will instead tell one season-long serialized story.
“I’ll tell what we didn’t want [the TV series] to be. We didn’t want it to be Clarice Starling: The Procedural," Kurtzman explained. "We just weren’t going to make that show…. And MGM, who was gracious enough to trust us with the rights to Clarice, had no interest in making that show.”
Kurtzman also revealed that he originally saw Clarice as more of a streaming series, but was ultimately convinced by CBS CCO David Nevins to air the series on the network itself.
“I said, ‘I don’t see that. I’m not go to reduce it to a procedural,'” Kurtzman recalled. “[David] said, ‘You can do whatever show you want.’ I said, ‘It’s going to be serialized,’ he said, ‘Do it on the network.’ I said, ‘Are you sure?’ and he said yes.”
“Everybody, top-down at the network, has not given us one note to make it more procedural since we started,” Kurtzman added. “It’s actually been kind of amazing.”
While Kurtzman did specify that Clarice's FBI investigations might get somewhat procedural in nature, the series will be more heavily rooted in “a sense of emotional psychology."
"The title of the pilot is ‘The Silence Is Over,’ and that’s actually what we want the outline for the show to be," Kurtzman revealed. "It’s ‘Clarice Starling is finally speaking,’ and she’s exploring lots of new things about herself after the trauma of Buffalo Bill.”
Clarice, which will be showrun by The Resident and Grey's Anatomy alum Elizabeth Klaviter, is set in 1993, a year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs. The series is a deep dive into the untold personal story of Clarice Starling (Rebecca Breeds), as she returns to the field to pursue serial murderers and sexual predators while navigating the high stakes political world of Washington, D.C. Brilliant and vulnerable, Clarice graduated Magna from UVA with a double major in Psych and Criminology. Her bravery gives her an inner light that draws monsters and madmen to her. Her complex psychological makeup comes from a challenging childhood, and her drive comes from her need to escape the burden of family secrets that have haunted her throughout her life.
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