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Wednesday, 13 June, 2001, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Hopkins considers third bite at Hannibal
Sir Anthony Hopkins in Hannibal
Hopkins is said to be waiting to see the script
Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins, who played Dr Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, is in talks to play the cannibalistic doctor for a third time, reports say.

His decision will be based on whether he likes the screen adaptation of Thomas Harris' novel Red Dragon, which first introduced the world to Dr Lecter, according to Variety magazine.

The book, released in 1981, is the first instalment of Harris' Hannibal trilogy and begins with Dr Lecter lying in a cell with Alexandre Dumas's Le Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine open on his chest.

Red Dragon
Red Dragon became a best-seller in 1981
Like in Silence of the Lambs, it sees Dr Lecter asked to help an FBI agent catch a serial killer.

Red Dragon has been turned into a movie before - as 1986's Manhunter, which starred Scot Brian Cox as Dr Lecter.

But film executives want to cash in on the popularity and profile of Sir Anthony's two other Hannibal films.

The new version will include parts of the book not seen in Manhunter.

Ted Tally, who adapted The Silence of the Lambs for the big screen, has already been signed up to the project.

And Brett Ratner - who directed Rush Hour and The Family Man - is in talks over a $4m (2.9m) deal to take charge of the film, Variety says.

Award-winning

Dino and Martha De Laurentis, who worked on Hannibal, will be producers.

The Silence of the Lambs won five Oscars in 1991, including best picture, best actor for Sir Anthony and best screenplay for Tally.

It became one of the best-known films of the decade and took $131m (94m) at US box offices.

The follow-up, Hannibal, was released earlier this year and showed Dr Lecter's return to America.

Headed by Gladiator and Alien director Ridley Scott, it earned $165m (119m) at American cinemas.

See also:

08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Hannibal sparks censorship row
05 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Hannibal the cannibal returns
01 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Hannibal set for TV 'director's cut'
09 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Third Hannibal film planned
09 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Guess who's coming to dinner?
19 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Hannibal chews up competition
06 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Hannibal actress sought therapy
13 Jan 01 | Wales
Hannibal's mark on Hollywood
12 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Hannibal devours US box office
14 Apr 00 | Entertainment
The Valley boy in Hollywood
14 Dec 98 | Entertainment
Hopkins: 'I want to quit acting'
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