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These Two Legends Almost Starred In The Silence Of The Lambs | Maybe Make A The Silence Of The Lambs 2 For Them?

What else can be said about “The Silence of the Lambs” without repeating what has already been stated? Jonathan Demme took Thomas Harris’ horrific criminal thriller more than three decades ago and turned it into one of the best horror movies. The movie’s legacy has evolved with time, to put it mildly, yet it is still regarded as one of the best of all time. Jodie Foster’s portrayal of Clarice Starling is praised as one of the most influential roles for women in movie history, and Anthony Hopkins’ legendary performance as Dr. Hannibal Lecter is one of the most instantly recognisable movie characters. The third movie to win all five major Oscars—Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay—was “The Silence of the Lambs” at the 64th ceremony. The only Best Picture winner that is still primarily regarded as a horror movie is “The Silence of the Lambs,” which was one of only six horror movies to ever receive nominations alongside “The Exorcist,” “Jaws,” “The Sixth Sense,” “Black Swan,” and “Get Out.”

While the characters from “The Silence of the Lamb” have received a sequel and independent television adaptations in “Clarice” and “Hannibal,” Foster and Hopkins’ performances feel inextricably linked to the roles. However, “The Silence of the Lambs” would have been a completely different film if two famous Hollywood figures had not declined the project, giving Anthony Hopkins the perfect opportunity to play Hannibal Lecter.

Gene Hackman optioned the rights to The Silence of the Lambs

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It’s reasonable to say that Gene Hackman is a living icon with a career that has lasted more than six decades. Even though most modern audiences recognise him as Lex Luthor in the 1978 film “Superman,” Hackman is one of the most renowned actors of all time. He was honoured with Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for his performances as Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle in “The French Connection” and Little Bill Daggett in “Unforgiven” in 1992. Hackman had previously optioned the rights to Harris’ “The Silence of the Lambs” novel with the aim of helming the movie and playing the cannibalistic doctor before Hopkins joined the Dr. Hannibal Lecter conversation. Indecisive about whether to direct, play Lecter or FBI chief Jack Crawford, Hackman began to doubt his commitment when screenwriter Ted Tally was hired (played in the final product by Scott Glenn). He ultimately decided to abandon the endeavour, though.

According to rumours, Hackman’s daughter persuaded him not to accept the part because she thought the unsettling and violent themes of the movie may hurt his career. While the Hackman who would go on to play characters such as the hacked, cigarette-addicted William B. Tensy in “Heartbreakers” or the eccentric Royal Tenenbaum would have resulted in an odd Lecter, the Hackman who gave us FBI Special Agent Rupert Anderson in “Mississippi Burning” would have made for an intriguing cannibal with perhaps even more “creepy” appeal, considering Hackman can look like a

Jeremy Irons needed a break from playing sadists

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Jeremy Irons excels in frighten audiences while portraying some of cinema’s greatest villains. Irons is a master at playing villains, whether it is as the psychotic twin gynaecologists in David Cronenberg’s “Dead Ringers” or as the cunning and murderous Scar in “The Lion King.” Irons, like Hackman, was a candidate for the Dr. Hannibal Lecter part, but he finally declined because he needed a break from portraying such gruesome characters after working double shifts in “Dead Ringers” and was about to begin filming Barbet Schroder’s “Reversal of Fortune.”

Irons told the Telegraph, “I like doing edgy stuff, but I thought, I just can’t do it, I’m already too far down this road.” For his portrayal of Claus von Bulow in “Reversal of Fortune,” Irons would finally win the Academy Award for Best Actor, with Hopkins taking home the trophy the year after Irons himself had turned down the part.

Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Derek Jacobi, and John Lithgow were also once considered for the character of Dr. Lecter, but Irons is the one that arguably makes the greatest backup choice. There is no questioning Hopkins’ brilliance, but Jeremy Irons could have combined Hopkins’ eerie stillness with the seductive charm that Mads Mikkelsen would later give the role in Bryan Fuller’s “Hannibal” series. However, it appears that everything turned out okay in the end.

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