Days ahead of the July 29th UK premiere of the new A-Team film, “Silence of the Lambs” actor Sir Anthony Hopkins has broken his silence on the choice of Liam Neeson for the Hannibal role.
The character that Hopkins brought to life in the 1991 movie based on the chilling Thomas Harris novel, and which he reprised ten years later in the sequel “Hannibal”, was a cinema classic, perhaps impossible for any other actor to pull off, but Hopkins is said to be furious at the betrayal of his legacy.
“Well I suppose it’s what one has come to expect these days, and they obviously have to produce the film so as to have as broad an appeal as possible in the summer market. But don't you see? They’ve watered down Hannibal’s menace to such a degree as to make him practically unrecognizable,” commented Hopkins from his home in Malibu, California.
The knight of the realm also revealed that when he originally heard they were resurrecting the Hannibal character for a new film, he changed into full straightjacket and face-mask costume and tracked down the director, Joe Carnahan, to discuss his role, but was shocked to hear that he wasn’t even being considered.
However when Hopkins saw clips, he was almost relieved not to have got the part. “They’ve totally ruined the character. It’s not all Liam’s fault, but he could have done much better. There are so many scenes where he could have bitten someone’s nose off, or removed someone’s liver but doesn’t. I was appalled.
“All Liam seems to say is, ‘I love it when a plan comes together’. Where's the ‘fava beans’? The ‘chianti’? The ‘f-f-f-f-f-f’? It was deeply disappointing.”
Meanwhile British Airways chairman Willie Walsh is said to ‘pity the fool’ who overlooked him for the part of BA, who hates flying.