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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 September 2006, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Lecter to make literary comeback
Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter
Anthony Hopkins has played Lecter in three films to date
A book chronicling the early life of Thomas Harris's serial killer Hannibal Lecter will be published in December.

Covering the flesh-eating killer's life from ages 6 to 20, Hannibal Rising will shed light on his parents' deaths and his memories of younger sister Mischa.

Published on 5 December, the novel will by followed by a film version starring French actor Gaspard Ulliel as Lecter.

The character previously appeared in three Harris novels: Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal.

Red Dragon has been filmed twice - first as Manhunter starring Brian Cox as Lecter, and subsequently under its original title with Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Sir Anthony had previously played Lecter in the film versions of Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, winning an Oscar for the former.

Thomas Harris
Harris has not written a novel since 1999's Hannibal
"There has been a great deal of excitement anticipating the return of Hannibal," said Susan Sandon from publishing giant Random House.

"Thomas Harris is a wonderful writer and the book is well worth the wait."

"His works are very, very complex and I think he thinks about them for a long time before he puts a pen to paper," said Harris' agent Mort Janklow.

Hannibal Rising will be published by Random House imprint William Heinemann in the UK.

The film, for which Harris wrote the screenplay, will be released in February 2007.

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