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Look out for more coverage of
Hannibal Rising in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Hannibal Rising

THE STARS:
Gaspard Ulliel • Gong Li
DIRECTOR: Peter Webber

Outdoor cooking, a portent of the future… THE CONCEPT:
The origins of one of the most notorious screen villains. From the shocking events that destroyed Hannibal Lecter's (Ulliel) idyllic Lithuanian childhood during World War II to the revenge-fueled start to his savage life of murder and cannibalism in France, the film follows the Hannibal as he transforms from young man to monster…

U.S. RELEASE: February 9 2007, Nationwide • Rated: R

THE COMMENTS:

GASPARD ULLIEL:
“I was hesitant to accept the project after reading the script because I think I was very scared. I knew that it was very risky for me to go into this project because it’s so popular, and I knew that there would be a lot of expectations on this film.”

GONG LI (Lady Murasaki):
“Hannibal films are quite popular in Asia and China. Everybody knows about them, if you say Silence of the Lambs, everybody knows exactly what you’re talking about.”

ULLIEL:
“The idea was to try to give Hannibal a more human aspect and to try to show to the audience that at the beginning he was just a regular young boy, and that slowly he became what he is and what everybody knows he is. I don’t think that the goal of telling his past is to try to justify his killings or to give reasons. It’s just to show how he became like this.”

LI:
Lady Murasaki and Hannibal are two similar characters. When they meet, right away they realize that they share something in common, which is that they’ve suffered a lot in the war. So they had to face a lot of dark experiences together. I think that’s what attracts Lady Murasaki to Hannibal. She has a desire to help and protect him. What attracts him is this feeling of possibly being protected. It’s a mutual kind of dependency.”

ULLIEL:
“The only thing that I had difficulty understanding precisely was how you can go and try to bite someone and taste human flesh. How do you go and do this for the first time, because I can understand that if you keep doing it and you really like it, it can be addictive maybe, but the first time I don’t know how you can try it.”

LI:
“This film for me is a kind of exploration. It was an opportunity for me to participate in something and try something new. Of course, I knew in advance that there was going to be a lot of violence and that gruesome (scenes would be filmed) because that’s part of the story, and it’s a commercial film. What was important for me about my character is that she spends a lot of time trying to stop Hannibal from committing those violent acts but, of course, in the end she fails.”

ULLIEL:
“I haven’t heard anything about doing another Hannibal film – I think they just want to see how this film does. [The audience] should just watch this film as one film, and not a new series.”

Written by David Waldon. Back to top

Visit the official Hannibal Rising site
Images above © Weinstein Company
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #680, March 2007 cover

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