CBS’ Clarice: Cast, Synopsis & More

The Silence of the Lambs is and will always be, without a doubt, one of the best, most chilling, horror movies of all time. Though the novel-based franchise has since spawned a sequel and two prequel movies – not to mention NBC’s hit TV series Hannibal – there’s so much psychology to unlock behind Hannibal Lecter and the other characters that, let’s be honest, we all want more.

Thankfully, CBS is giving that to us with their newest crime drama entitled Clarice. The network first concluded talks with the show’s creators in January 2020 and by June, Clarice was picked up straight to series despite the delay in the pilot’s production due to COVID-19 restrictions.

This also means that though Clarice is still slated to premiere during the 2020-2021 season as a midseason entry, however that could change down the road.

Who’s in charge?

Clarice is written and executive produced by Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, with Kurtzman producing under his company Secret Hideout alongside co-executive producers Heather Kadin and Aaron Baiers. Kurtzman and Lumet have previously worked together on other CBS projects such as The Man Who Fell to Earth and both Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard.

CBS Television Studios serves as the production studio with MGM – which is as expected since MGM owns the rights to the movies and the character of Clarice Starling.

And just recently Elizabeth Klaviter was named showrunner for this upcoming series.

What’s Clarice about?

We last saw Clarice Starling in the 2001 sequel movie Hannibal and despite her central role in both movies, we didn’t learn much about her outside of what we saw in her intelligence dealing with Hannibal. Now, CBS finally brings her to the forefront.

Hannibal’s character won’t be appearing in Clarice (though I’m sure there may be occasional references), giving much more room for the titular character’s development.

The show is set in 1993 following the events in The Silence of the Lambs and dives into Clarice’s personal and professional life. Still working for the FBI, she returns to the field with the new knowledge she gained working with Hannibal and uses this – along with her degrees in Psychology and Criminology – to investigate major crimes in Washington, D.C. Although, don’t count on the series being a procedural, it will be more of a serialized show.

Kurtzman and Lumet released this statement on the show and eponymous character: “After more than 20 years of silence, we’re privileged to give voice to one of America’s most enduring heroes – Clarice Starling. Clarice’s bravery and complexity have always lit the way, even as her personal story remained in the dark. But hers is the very story we need today: her struggle, her resilience, her victory. Her time is now, and always.”

Who’s starring in Clarice?

Clarice herself will be played by Australian actress Rebecca Breeds (Pretty Little Liars, Home and Away). Being the third actress to play the part, she’s got big shoes to fill as Clarice was previously portrayed by Academy Award winners Jodie Foster and Julianne Moore.

New characters in the show are Clarice’s new partner Tomas Esquivel and her best friend Ardelia Mapp. Tomas will be played by Lucca De Oliveira (The Punisher) and is described as being “initially suspicious of Clarice”. While Ardelia, who was Clarice’s roommate at the FBI Academy and is now an Assistant U.S. Attorney, will be portrayed by Devyn A. Tyler (Out Of Blue).

Additional cast members will include Kal Penn (Designated Survivor), Nick Sandow (Orange is the New Black), and Michael Cudlitz (Southland). Penn will star as Emin Grigoryan who’s an expert in all things archival. Sandow will portray Murray Clarke who has a knack for spotting lies and is one of the main agents who hazes Clarice in the FBI. While Cudlitz will play Paul Krendler who’s a gifted investigator for the Department of Justice.

Stay tuned for more updates on the production and release of CBS’ Clarice!

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