Raise a glass of Chianti (or Amarone): CBS has officially announced that its upcoming TV series Clarice—recounting the adventures of FBI agent Clarice Starling from Thomas Harris’ 1988 thriller, The Silence of the Lambs—will premiere during the Fall 2020 season.
The show will star Australian actor Rebecca Breeds as Starling, a character who also appeared in Harris’ 1999 sequel, Hannibal. CBS describes the series, set in 1993, as “a deep dive into the untold personal story of [the] brilliant and vulnerable FBI Agent.” Back in January, the network said that it would follow Starling as she pursues “serial murderers and sexual predators while navigating the high stakes political world of Washington, D.C.”
Deadline reported that The Walking Dead’s Michael Cudlitz will play Paul Krendler, a Justice Department official who also appears in Silence and Hannibal. Designated Survivor’s Kal Penn will portray Emin Grigoryan, a new FBI agent character.
The TV show seems to have undergone a slight retooling since January; it’s now set just six months after the events of Silence, instead of a year later, as previously announced. (Harris’ Hannibal is set seven years after the previous book.)
There’s no indication, as yet, that Starling’s most famous nemesis, cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter, will appear in the new show. Interestingly, the last TV series to draw on Harris’ books, NBC’s Hannibal, didn’t feature Starling at all.
Breeds had a recurring role on the last two seasons of the Freeform show Pretty Little Liars, which ended in 2017 and was also based on a book series. She has big shoes to fill, to be sure: Jodie Foster won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Starling in the critically acclaimed 1991 Silence film, and Julianne Moore played her in the 2001 movie version of Hannibal.
David Rapp is the senior Indie editor.