CBS has just closed deals for Clarice, a crime drama series project based on the famous Thomas Harris character Clarice Sterling, which is set after the events in The Silence Of the Lambs. The project, written and executive produced by Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, has received a big series commitment.
The intention for the project, which has a pilot script written, is to go to series. It will film a pilot before a series order decision is made but a writers room has already been set up, and there is a lot of enthusiasm for the title, the premise and the auspices at the network. Needless to say, Clarice will be one of the highest-profile roles for a young actress this pilot season.
Clarice is produced by MGM, which owns the rights to the movies, and CBS Television Studios in association with Kurtzman’s CBS Studios-based Secret Hideout.
Clarice is set in 1993, a year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs. The series is a deep dive into the untold personal story of Clarice Starling, as she returns to the field to pursue serial murderers and sexual predators while navigating the high stakes political world of Washington, D.C.
I hear the character of Hannibal Lecter is not expected to be part of the series.
“After more than 20 years of silence, we’re privileged to give voice to one of America’s most enduring heroes – Clarice Starling,” said Kurtzman and Lumet. “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.”
Secret Hideout’s Heather Kadin will also serve as an executive producer alongside Kurtzman and Lumet; the company’s Aaron Baiers will be co-executive producer. The creative auspices had been working on the project for awhile while waiting for the lengthy, complicated negotiations between CBS TV Studios, MGM and other rights holders to close. I hear they finally closed after midnight this morning.
MGM previously teamed with Lifetime in 2012 to develop Clarice, a TV series that was to follow the exploits of a young Clarice Starling soon after she graduates from the FBI academy. That project did not go forward.
As originally envisioned by Harris, Clarice grew up in West Virginia until she was 10, when her father, a police officer, was shot and killed. She moves to her uncle’s farm in Montana, but later runs away and winds up in an orphanage. After college, she applies to the FBI academy.
The Silence of the Lambs was published in 1988, and the movie adaptation hit theaters in 1991, directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster as Clarice. It swept the top categories at the 64th Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Foster.
Foster declined to reprise the role in the 2001’s Hannibal, based on Harris’ 1999 novel, which was set 10 years after The Silence of the Lambs. Julianne Moore took over as the character in that movie directed by Ridley Scott.
Writing partners Kurtzman and Lumet are the co-creators and co-showrunners of drama series The Man Who Fell to Earth, based on the Walter Tevis novel and the cult classic 1976 film starring David Bowie, produced by Secret Hideout and CBS TV Studios. It is set up at CBS All Access.
Lumet also is an executive producer on the Kurtzman-led CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery, a consulting producer on Star Trek: Picard and authored the Short Trek “Runaway” with Kurtzman. Additionally, she wrote a 2017 CBS pilot produced by Secret Hideout.
Kurtzman and his Secret Hideout, are at the helm of the growing Star Trek universe on CBS All Access, including flagship Star Trek: Discovery and the upcoming Star Trek: Picard, featuring Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role. He is also an executive producer on CBS’ Hawaii Five-0. Kadin serves as an executive producer on the Star Trek projects and is the president of television at Secret Hideout.
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