“The Silence of the Lambs” is a bona fide horror-thriller classic. With a 96% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and five major Oscar trophies to its name, it’s a rare breed of cannibal movie that received universal acclaim and awards recognition. Of course, there’s more to “The Silence of the Lambs” than questionable individuals eating liver with fava beans and some nice Chianti. It’s a compelling murder mystery that boasts tremendous performances from Jodie Foster and Sir Anthony Hopkins, the latter of whom portrayed the film’s captivating villain, Hannibal Lecter.
It’s impossible to picture anyone other than Hopkins as Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs.” However, the role would have been Gene Hackman‘s if events panned out differently. The actor wanted the role so much that he even optioned the rights to the book, splitting the costs with Orion Pictures. As Cinema Blend points out, Hackman not only had plans to star in the adaptation of Thomas Harris’ novel, but he also planned on directing it at one point. Those plans changed, however, but Hackman had his reasons for the U-turn.