Literature: Hannibal

Hannibal is the 1999 sequel to the bestselling Thomas Harris novel The Silence of the Lambs. A movie came out in 2001 directed by Ridley Scott .

Ten years have passed since Dr. Hannibal Lecter's escape from custody. Clarice Starling is now a fully-fledged FBI agent, but a bungled drugs raid leads to her being suspended. Meanwhile, Lecter is living in Florence, pursued by Starling, a wealthy former victim and a disgraced Italian police detective in different ways for different reasons. The book, although still acclaimed, was far more controversial with critics and readers, especially its controversial ending.

The movie, with a different ending, saw Anthony Hopkins reprise his role as Lecter and also starred Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman and Ray Liotta. It received mixed reviews, not least because Jodie Foster decided not to reprise her role as Starling and was replaced by Moore. Both book and film, however, made a great deal of money.

The flashbacks from Hannibal involving the Verger twins were later incorporated into the second season of Bryan Fuller's TV series of the same name, with Michael Pittnote  and Katharine Isabelle as Mason and Margot. The novel's primary story of Lecter on the run will (with modifications) influence the first half of the show's upcoming third season.


Shows examples of:

  • Adapted Out:
    • Margot Verger was entirely omitted from the movie. As such the manner of Mason's death is entirely different.
    • Jack Crawford is also absent. According to a deleted scene, his death was also moved from happening near the end to happened before the events of The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. This was partly because Scott Glenn, who portrayed Crawford in Silence, was so disturbed when John Douglas (the man upon whom Crawford was based) played him tapes of a teenager being tortured by serial killers Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris that he refused to return for the sequel.
  • Animal Motifs: Pazzi washes the pickpocket's blood off his hands at a fountain shaped like a boar's head. The very next scene reveals Verger's intention to have Lecter Fed to Pigs.
  • Antagonist Title: Hannibal.
  • Asshole Victim: Mason Verger was this, even though he didn't actually die at least not then and just wound up crippled.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Lecter arms himself with a spring-mounted concealed blade known as a Harpy.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: And the reason why Jodie Foster, Jonathan Demme and Ted Tally, respectively the lead actress, director and screenwriter of The Silence of the Lambs, opted out of Hannibal.
  • Body-Count Competition: Clarice receives a letter from the Guinness Book of Records congratulating her on being the female FBI agent who has shot and killed the most people.
  • California Doubling:
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Clarice's handcuffs.
    • The floor polisher.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal has sketched a view of Florence from the roof of the Duomo as part of his Wicked Cultured personality. One of the first establishing shots in Hannibal is that exact vista in real life.
    • During the dinner scene with Krendler, Bach's Goldberg Variations is playing, the same piece Lecter was listening to when he killed his two guards in Tennessee and escaped.
  • Death by Adaptation/Killed Offscreen: As noted in ''Adapted Out", Scott Glenn's refusal to return resulted in a type 2 of the former for Jack Crawford.
  • Dirty Cop:
    • Rinaldo Pazzi is a disgraced Italian detective who partners with Verger's henchmen to capture Lecter, eager to collect a $3 million bounty.
    • Paul Krendler, who is bribed by Verger to have Starling suspended from the FBI.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Mason Verger's death.
    • In the book Margot Verger takes very messy revenge on her brother Mason, who had sexually abused her when she was younger, and manages to make sure that her family will have access to the family's fortune by getting his sperm so she can impregnate her girlfriend with a blood-related heir.
    • In the movie it is his doctor Cordell Doemling, who throws Verger to the pigs, when Hannibal tells him that he will take the fall.
  • Evil Cripple:
  • Evil Gloating: Mason Verger does this to Hannibal, in the form of To the Pain. He caps his speech with "I bet you wish you'd fed the rest of me to the dogs." Hannibal delivers a Shut Up, Hannibal! (ironic, that) that makes Mason leave the room.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Verger actions resulted in having his face cut off.
  • Evil Will Fail: Posing as "Doctor Fell", Hannibal insults Inspector Pazzi, the Italian detective investigating a missing scholar (who Lecter almost certainly killed to get the scholar's job) for his failings on the "Il Monstro" case. Lecter claims he had been following the case in the papers, which is the first thing that arouses Pazzi's suspicions (that "Fell" had been following a Serial Killer case so closely), and along with a later remark to Clarice about "coming out of retirement" suggests he sabotaged his own freedom, as well as a new career. It is strongly implied that he is, in fact, the Il Monstro killer himself. note 
  • Facial Horror: Mason Verger peeled off his own face under the influence of Lecter, plus some party drugs. Seen in the movie Here.
  • FBI Agent: Starling is now a fully trained FBI Agent.
  • Fed to Pigs: Verger's intended fate for Lecter. In the film it happens to him instead.
  • Flashed Badge Hijack: Averted when Clarice Starling witnesses Hannibal Lecter being kidnapped by Mason Verger's thugs and is unable to get a couple driving a car to even call for help. She spends the next few hours silently cursing herself for not throwing them out of the car and chasing the kidnappers herself.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Verger family: Mason is choleric, Margot is phlegmatic, Molson is melancholic.
  • Give Me Back My Wallet: Dr. Lecter murders the guy who tries to pickpocket him. Though he was also partially murdered by Commendatore Pazzi, the Dirty Cop who had hired the pickpocket in the first place to get fingerprints, who intentionally lets him bleed to death so as not to blow his own cover.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Clarice is rendered unconscious by a gunshot wound and wakes up wearing an evening gown instead of the casual clothes she was wearing earlier. Which never happened in the book — although Clarice does end up wearing the evening gown, she's allowed to put it on without Lecter being in the room. Nor does Lecter ever undress her, except to tend her injuries.
  • Hidden Wire: Clarice Starling mentions during her shooting inquest that a man from another agency is wearing a wire. A FBI man threatens to punch him out if he tries that again.
  • Ironic Hell: The punishment Verger has planned for Hannibal is doubly so. On the one hand, he's a cannibal who would be eaten alive, and on the other, Hannibal previously punished Verger my making him cut his own face off and feeding it to dogs.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Verger reflects that he thought this when he was slicing his own face up at Lecter's instigation.
  • Jerkass: Verger and Krendler.
  • Just Desserts: At the climax of Hannibal, the boars that Mason hoped would eat Hannibal put him on their menu instead.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Lecter is this in spades, though Thomas Harris admitted he had grown to like his character so much this trope became inevitable. Inthe Hannibal novel Lecter even finally settles down with Starling following the events of the novel.
    • Margot Verger and Barney are minor examples, with Margot getting away with killing her brother Mason in the book and Barney knowing about it and gets away with helping bury that knowledge, though since Mason Verger is an Asshole Victim par excellence, it's hard to hate them for this.
  • Life or Limb Decision : Lecter faces this at the end of the movie.
  • Mugging the Monster: Pazzi compels a pickpocket to mug Lecter, in order to acquire a fingerprint.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Hannibal is a much more complicated novel than Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon were. While Silence and Dragon were faithfully adapted by Ted Tally (the script for ''Silence'' is more or less the novel with the non-essential chapters removed), Hannibal was more thoroughly rewritten. For example, in the novel the Florence scenes are isolated from the rest of the story and Clarice doesn't make a single appearance. In the movie the scenes of Pazzi investigating Lecter are intercut with scenes of Clarice tracing Lecter's letter to Florence, giving the two leads a scene together early on in the film. And of course, the controversial ending, in which Lecter and Starling end up as lovers on the run together, was dramatically altered as well. Scott asked Harris if he was "married to his ending", and when Harris replied that he was not, Scott changed it.
  • More Than Mind Control: Hannibal kidnaps, drugs and hypnotizes a disillusioned Clarice and acts as her therapist. Clarice undergoes a major Face-Heel Turn, and when the drugs wear off, Clarice seduces him.
  • Reminiscing About Your Victims: Mason Verger reminisces about a Christian camp he attended and his fellow campers, some of them disadvantaged youths who "would do anything for a candy bar" which allowed him to molest them. This is meant to mark him out as an Asshole Victim of Hannibal Lecter's and later of his sister Margot's.
  • Ripped from the Headlines:
    • The FBI's most wanted list includes Osama bin Laden, James Charles Kopp and James J. Bulger.note 
    • Pazzi is said to have worked on the case of Il Mostro, a Real Life Serial Killer active in Florence in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Scenery Porn: Well it is Florence.
  • The Stinger: After the credits, Lecter’s signature rolls onscreen, and Hannibal says, ‘Ta-ta. H.’
  • Touch of the Monster: After Clarice passes out from the gunshot wound in her shoulder, Lecter carries her bridal-style to safety (well, safer than a pen full of flesh-eating pigs, anyway).
  • Trust Me, I'm a Doctor: Inverted in when Lecter is talking to Margot about killing Mason; she quickly points out that she could never trust him to do it, and he counters by saying that she can trust him to not deny he'd done it.
  • Turn in Your Badge: A subversion. Clarice is suspended after the botched drugs raid, despite following procedures correctly, because she refuses to sleep with a superior.