Everybody say Hello, Clarice. The trailer for the “Silence of the Lambs” sequel television series has arrived in all its creepy glory.
Picking up one year after the events of Jonathan Demme’s Oscar-winning 1991 film starring Jodie Foster, “Clarice” follows FBI agent Clarice Starling, who is now played by Rebecca Breeds, masking her Australian roots here with an Appalachian accent.
Still haunted by her brush with serial killer Buffalo Bill, whom she captured with the help of cannibalistic doctor Hannibal Lecter, Starling is thrust back into the spotlight when a new case draws her back to her native West Virginia. With a new killer on the loose, the FBI agent is encouraged to embrace her reputation for “hunting monsters” and confront the “old ghosts” from her childhood.
“Clarice” also stars Devyn A. Tyler, Kal Penn, Michael Cudlitz, Nick Sandow and Marnee Carpenter as kidnapping victim Catherine Martin (portrayed by Brooke Smith in the movie).
Looming over the trailer is the shadow of Lecter, who won’t appear in the series and can’t be mentioned by name due to legal conflicts over the rights to the characters that originally appeared in Thomas Harris’ 1988 novel.
“It’s been quite liberating because we have no interest in writing about Hannibal — not because we didn’t love the films and the show, but because it was done so well by so many people that it didn’t feel fresh for us,” Alex Kurtzman, executive producer of “Clarice,” told Entertainment Weekly, referring to the multiple adaptations of Harris’ multiple books about Lecter.
The CBS series will instead launch Starling into a new and presumably equally terrifying serial killer plot that will both pay respect to and break with Demme’s interpretation of her story.
“We harness the spirit of it and ask, ‘What was he doing that was so meaningful and how do we interpret it now, 30 years later, for a modern audience?’” Kurtzman said.
Hannibal Lecter was most recently at the center of Bryan Fuller’s critically acclaimed prequel series starring Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy, which ended its three-season run on NBC in 2015.
“Clarice” premieres Feb. 11 on CBS.