Cate Rates as Foster Replacement

Universal may have been jilted by Jodie Foster, but the wedding, er, Hannibal, hasn’t been called off yet. “Bring in the replacement!” Seems to have been the rallying cry at the studio. Buzz now has it that Foster’s nonparticipation won’t be the death of the Silence of the Lambs sequel.

Who’s the front-runner to take over for the two-time Oscar-winner? According to Variety, it’s the talented Cate Blanchett, whose 1998 Oscar for Elizabeth was inexplicably handed to Gwyneth Paltrow by mistake.

The Australian actress is part of the ensemble filming the Lord of the Rings trilogy Down Under, although her relatively small role of Galadriel may be wrapped by now. She’s also set to start filming The Gift opposite Keanu Reeves for Sam Raimi in February and was mentioned for Spielberg’s in-limbo production of Minority Report. (The director’s rumored to have abandoned that film altogether.)

Industry sources now give Hannibal an April start date. In the aftermath of Foster’s official refusal, Hollywood trades had Universal still hopeful to re-sign Foster, but that hope seems to have faded. According to Variety, another unnamed actress is also on the short list. Speculation has touched on Gillian Anderson, Angelina Jolie, and Helen Hunt, among other actresses who might be ripe for the part.

Today’s Variety implies that a Foster replacement would be considered a “new character,” which would help the distracting reality of another actress being called Clarice Starling. That would mean yet another go at the much-revised script, which by now must barely resemble Thomas Harris’ novel.

Thanks to Jon for the tip!

Source: Showbiz