Move over Jodie Foster, there's a new Clarice Starling in town. Over at CBS, work has begun on the drama series Clarice, a TV series following the FBI Agent a year after the events of Silence of the Lambs as she "hunts down new serial murderers and sexual predators while also navigating the political world of Washington D.C." Now, the project has found its titular star, as Pretty Little Liars actress Rebecca Breeds has been officially cast as the small screen version of Clarice Starling. Though the relationship between Clarice and Dr. Lecter made for some compelling storytelling, Hannibal is not expected to be a part of the Clarice series.
This will make Breeds the third actress to bring life to the Clarice character, which was originally created by author Thomas Harris for the 1988 Silence of the Lambs novel. In 1991, Jodie Foster famously played Clarice opposite Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in the movie adaptation Silence of the Lambs. An iconic performance, Foster managed to win an Oscar for Best Actress for the part. She would then pass the badge on to Julianne Moore for the 2001 movie Hannibal, which served as a prequel to the original film. Breeds' take on the character is described as "brave and vulnerable" with an "inner light that draws monsters and madmen to her."
We never saw the Clarice character appear on Bryan Fuller's Hannibal TV series with Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Lecter, but it wasn't for a lack of trying. Though the show was cancelled prematurely by NBC after just three seasons, Fuller has since gone on record as saying he had hoped to include Clarice in future episodes of the show. Of course, this was dependent on if Fuller and the Hannibal team could get the rights to use that particular character. Though it never came to fruition, Fuller suggested that he saw Ellen Page as his ideal casting choice for the part. Because Hannibal fans continue to call for a series revival to this day, it remains possible we could one day see another small screen Clarice.
An Australia native, Breeds snagged her first recurring television role on the Australian TV series Blue Water High. In 2013, she began appearing in her first American series when she was cast in a main role for the sitcom We Are Men, acting opposite Kal Penn, Tony Shalhoub, Chris Smith, and Jerry O'Connell. Breeds would later land recurring roles on The CW network shows Pretty Little Liars and The Originals and starred in the titular role of the unsold series pilot Miranda's Rights. She has also appeared in the movies Newcastle, Three Summers, and Slam.
Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet are writing and executive producing Clarice, with Kurtzman exec producing under his Secret Hideout banner alongside Heather Kadin. Aaron Baiers is also on board to co-executive produce. No word yet on when exactly the series will premiere on CBS. This news comes to us from Variety.