In RED DRAGON we learned who he was. In SILENCE OF THE LAMBS we learned how he did it. Now comes the most chilling chapter in the life of Hannibal Lecter - the one that answers the most elusive question of all - why?
HANNIBAL RISING marks the first time in the award-winning series that best selling author Thomas Harris ("Red Dragon," "Silence of the Lambs") writes the screenplay - reaching back to explore the origins of Lecter's rage, terror and savagery.
The story begins in Eastern Europe at the desperate end of World War II. For many it was no longer a conflict of nations but one of individual survival - at any cost. A young Hannibal watches from only steps away as his parents violently die, leaving his cherished young sister in his care. This horrific moment will soon pale in comparison to the atrocities he is forced to witness, changing him forever.
Alone and without any means of support, he is forced to live in a Soviet orphanage that once served as his family's beloved home. He flees to Paris to find his uncle has died but his beautiful and mysterious Japanese widow, Lady Murasaki (Gong Li) welcomes him. Even her kindness and love cannot soothe the nightmares and sorrows that plague him. Showing a cunning aptitude for science he is accepted into medical school, which serves to hone his skills and provide the tools to exact justice on the war criminals that haunt him day and night. This quest will ignite an insatiable lust within a serial killer who was not born, but made.
Gaspard Ulliel plays the fearsome Lecter, alongside Gong Li, Rhys Ifans and Dominic West. Peter Webber (GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING) directs.
Hannibal Lecter is a cultural icon. Possibly the most famous anti-hero ever created. Brilliant, charming and evil, he grips the popular imagination like no other villain. His creator, the reclusive American writer Thomas Harris, introduced him to the world as a minor, though significant, character in the menacing novel Red Dragon published in 1981. Harris is widely acknowledged as one of the world's most skillful writers of psychological thrillers. His complex, brilliantly written stories are remarkable; not just for their spine-chilling horror, but also for the way they create empathy for the cunning, ruthless serial killer. Red Dragon quickly became a best seller. Producers Dino and Martha De Laurentiis spotted the potential in the story and were the first to bring Hannibal to the screen in the 1986 Michael Mann thriller MANHUNTER.
MANHUNTER was a cult success, but it was the 1991 movie SILENCE OF THE LAMBS which brought Hannibal into the mainstream. Directed by Jonathan Demme, the taut, terrifying narrative collected five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Anthony Hopkins and Best Actress for Jodie Foster. Following SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, Dino and Martha De Laurentiis returned to the Hannibal franchise when they produced the massive box office hits HANNIBAL in 2001 and the remake RED DRAGON in 2002, with Anthony Hopkins starring in both.
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