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February 9, 2001

Hannibal is a 2001 American psychological horror film directed by Ridley Scott and based on the 1999 novel by Thomas Harris. The sequel to the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs, it follows FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling as she attempts to apprehend cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter before his surviving victim, Mason Verger, captures him. Anthony Hopkins reprises his role as Lecter, while Julianne Moore replaces Jodie Foster as Starling and Gary Oldman plays Verger. Ray Liotta, Frankie R. Faison, Giancarlo Giannini, and Francesca Neri also star.

Following the release of The Silence of the Lambs, Harris spent several years writing a sequel novel. Foster and Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme initially planned to return for the sequel, but they and screenwriter Ted Tally declined because they found it too lurid. Scott became attached while directing Gladiator, and signed on after reading the script pitched by Dino De Laurentiis, who had produced Manhunter, the first Lecter film. David Mamet and Steven Zaillian wrote the screenplay, and principal photography commenced in May 2000, lasting sixteen weeks.

Hannibal was released on 9 February 2001, ten years after The Silence of the Lambs. It was highly anticipated and broke box office records in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, and grossed $351.6 million during its theatrical run. It received mixed reviews; critics praised the performances and visuals, but deemed it inferior to The Silence of the Lambs and criticized its violence. It was followed by a prequel, Red Dragon, in 2002, with Hopkins reprising his role as Lecter.

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