CNN Online
January 11, 2000

Blanchett Tops 'Hannibel' Short List

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Universal Studios probably will make an offer to Cate Blanchett to play the female lead in the sequel to the 1991 hit thriller "Silence of the Lambs," according to Variety.

If she accepts the role in "Hannibal," Blanchett would replace Jodie Foster, who decided against reprising the part of FBI agent Clarice Starling. Foster says she wants direct her own movie instead.

Studio executives said last week that they might consider waiting for Foster to finish her production, shelving the film or pitching the part to another actress.

Variety reports the studio has another unnamed actress in mind in case Blanchett's schedule is too busy. She's slated to begin production on "The Gift" and also has a role in New Line's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

Blanchett was nominated for a best actress Academy Award in 1999 for her role in "Elizabeth." She can currently be seen in "The Talented Mr. Ripley."

Anthony Hopkins, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter, has said he'll return for the sequel-- provided a financial terms can be reached.