A new trailer for CBS’ upcoming crime drama series, Clarice, leans heavily into the show’s Hannibal Lecter legacy. A sequel series to the 1991 serial killer masterpiece, The Silence of the Lambs, the newly released Super Bowl TV spot is keen to remind us of the trauma that has haunted our title character since childhood, leading her down the path she now finds herself on.
“The lambs were screaming,” Clarice Starling says, as footage of herself as a little girl trying to carry a lamb from slaughter plays. “I tried to free them. I thought if I could save just one… but he was so heavy. I couldn’t save the lamb. But I will never stop trying.” If that weren’t enough to inform you of the character’s roots, the trailer ends with a particularly iconic creepy crawly, namely a Death’s Head Moth, landing on Starling’s mouth in a nod to the poster for the 1991 movie starring Jodie Foster as Starling opposite Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter.
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. Brilliant and vulnerable, Clarice graduated Magna from UVA with a double major in Psych and Criminology. Her bravery gives her an inner light that draws monsters and madmen to her. Her complex psychological makeup comes from a challenging childhood, and her drive comes from her need to escape the burden of family secrets that have haunted her throughout her life.
Originally played by Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs, the role of Clarice Starling in the series will be portrayed by Pretty Little Liars and The Originals star Rebecca Breeds. Alongsider Breeds stars Devyn A. Tyler as Ardelia Mapp, Lucca De Oliveira as Tomas Esquivel, Kal Penn as Emin Grigoryan, Nick Sandow as Murray Clarke, Michael Cudlitz as Paul Krendler, and Marnee Carpenter as Catherine Martin.
Created by Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, Clarice is produced by CBS Studios, MGM Television, and Secret Hideout, and is based on the best-selling novel The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris.
Despite the Super Bowl trailer’s heavy reliance on Hannibal, it was previously revealed by the producers behind the show that the series would not even be allowed to utter the infamous cannibal’s name due to legal restraints. “I’m still trying to understand how the rights are divided,” executive producer Alex Kurtzman revealed. “But it’s been quite liberating because we have no interest in writing about Hannibal — not because we didn’t love the films and the show, but because it was done so well by so many people that it didn’t feel fresh for us.” Thankfully, this did not affect plans for Clarice too much, as the plan had always been to focus on the continuing adventures of Starling away from the influence of Hannibal Lecter.
Clarice is set to premiere on February 11, 2021, on CBS. You can watch the new Super Bowl spot courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes TV.