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Gene Hackman Was Originally Going to Play Hannibal Lecter

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Speaking of Hannibal the cannibal, while Anthony Hopkins turned the crazy-smart serial killer into an unforgettable cultural touchstone, the role was originally supposed to go to Gene Hackman, who bought the rights to The Silence of the Lambs and had planned on directing the film himself. He backed off the project when he decided that the role was too dark for his taste.

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