In "Red Dragon" we learned who he was. In "Silence of the Lambs" we learned how he did it. Now comes the most chilling chapter in the life of Hannibal Lecter – the one that answers the most elusive question of all - why?
"Hannibal Rising" marks the first time in the award-winning series, best selling author Thomas Harris ("Red Dragon," "Silence of the Lambs") writes the screenplay – reaching back to explore the origins of Lecter's rage, terror and savagery.
The story begins in Eastern Europe at the desperate end of World War II. For many it was no longer a conflict of nations but one of individual survival – at any cost. A young Hannibal watches from only steps away as his parents' violently die, leaving his cherished young sister in his care. This horrific moment will soon pale in comparison to the atrocities he is forced to witness and perhaps survive as a result of.
Alone and without any means of support, he is forced to live in a Soviet Orphanage that once served as his family's beloved home. He flees to Paris to find his uncle has died but his beautiful and mysterious Japanese widow, Lady Murasaki (Gong Li) welcomes him. Even her kindness and love cannot soothe the nightmares and sorrows that plague him. Showing a cunning aptitude for science he is accepted into medical school, which serves to hone his skills and provide the tools to exact justice on the war criminals that haunt him day and night. This quest will ignite an insatiable lust within a serial killer who was not born, but made.
Gaspard Ulliel plays the fearsome Lecter, alongside Gong Li, Rhys Ifans and Dominic West. Peter Webber ("Girl with a Pearl Earring") directs.