Hannibal Rising (film)

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Hannibal Rising
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Webber
Screenplay byThomas Harris
Based onHannibal Rising
by Thomas Harris
Produced by
CinematographyBen Davis
Edited by
Music by
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 7 February 2007 (2007-02-07) (France)
  • 9 February 2007 (2007-02-09) (Italy/United States/United Kingdom)
  • 22 February 2007 (2007-02-22) (Czech Republic)
Running time
121 minutes[3]
  • English
  • German
  • Russian
Budget$50 million[9]
Box office$82.1 million[2]

Hannibal Rising is a 2007 psychological thriller drama film and the fifth film of the Hannibal Lecter franchise.[a] It is a prequel to Red Dragon, Hannibal and The Silence of the Lambs. The film is an adaptation of Thomas Harris' 2006 novel of the same name and tells the story of Lecter's evolution from a vengeful Nazi hunter into a cannibalistic serial killer.

The film was directed by Peter Webber from a screenplay by Harris, and stars Gaspard Ulliel as the title character with additional roles played by Gong Li, Rhys Ifans and Dominic West. Filming took place at Barrandov Studios in Prague. It was co-produced by the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, France, Italy and the United States. It was released in France on February 7, 2007, and in Italy, United Kingdom, and the United States on February 9. It was produced by the Dino De Laurentiis Company and theatrical distribution was handled by Momentum Pictures in the U.K., and by The Weinstein Company and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the U.S.. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, though Ulliel's performance as Lecter was generally praised. It grossed $82.2 million against a $50 million budget.


In 1944, eight-year-old Hannibal Lecter lives in Lecter Castle in Lithuania. The Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union turns the Baltic region into part of the bloodiest front line of World War II. Lecter, his younger sister Mischa, and their parents travel to the family's hunting lodge in the woods to elude the advancing German troops. After three years, the Germans are finally driven out of the countries soon to be re-occupied by the Soviet Union. During their retreat, they destroy a Soviet tank that had stopped at the Lecter family's lodge looking for water. The explosion kills everyone but Lecter and Mischa. They survive in the cottage until five Lithuanian men from a Waffen-SS militia, led by Vladis Grutas, storm and loot it. Finding no other food in the bitterly cold Baltic winter, the men look menacingly at Lecter and Mischa.

In 1952, Lithuania is a part of the Soviet Union, and Lecter Castle has been converted into an orphanage, which also houses Hannibal. After dealing violently with a bully, Lecter escapes from the orphanage to Paris to live with his widowed aunt, Lady Murasaki, who teaches him Japanese martial arts including Kenjutsu. While in France, Lecter flourishes as a student. He commits his first murder as a teenager, using a katana sword to behead a local butcher for insulting his aunt. He is suspected of the murder by Inspector Pascal Popil, a French detective who also lost his family in the war. Thanks in part to his aunt's intervention, as she leaves the butcher's head on the gates in front of the station during Lecter's interview, Lecter escapes responsibility for the crime.

Lecter becomes the youngest person to be admitted to medical school in France. He works in Paris, where he is given a job preparing cadavers. One day, Lecter witnesses a condemned war criminal receiving a sodium thiopental injection, allowing him to recall details about his war crimes. Consequently, to recall the names of those responsible for his sister's death, Lecter injects himself with the solution. His subsequent flashback reveals the men who had killed Mischa and had cannibalized her as well. Lecter returns to Lithuania in search of his sister's remains. He excavates the ruins of the lodge where his family died and upon finding Mischa's remains, he gives her a proper burial. He also unearths the dog-tags of the men who killed his sister. One of them, Enrikas Dortlich, sees him arrive in the country and attempts to kill him but Lecter incapacitates him. After he buries Mischa's remains, Lecter forces Dortlich to reveal the whereabouts of the rest of his gang, then decapitates Dortlich with a horse-drawn pulley. Dortlich's blood splashes on Lecter's face, and he licks it off.

Lecter then visits the restaurant of another one of the soldiers, Petras Kolnas, in Fontainebleau. He finds his young daughter and notices Mischa's bracelet on her and gives her Kolnas's dogtag. Dortlich's murder puts the rest of the group on the alert and because of the similarity to the first murder, places Lecter under renewed suspicion from Popil. Grutas, now a sex trafficker, dispatches a second member of the group, Zigmas Milko, to kill him. Lecter kills Milko, drowning him in embalming chemicals inside his laboratory. Popil then tries to dissuade him from hunting the gang. During a confrontation with Lady Murasaki, she begs him not to get revenge. He refuses, claiming that he made a promise to Mischa. He then attacks Grutas in his home but Grutas is rescued by his bodyguards.

Grutas kidnaps Lady Murasaki and calls Lecter, using her as bait. Lecter recognizes the sounds of Kolnas's birds from his restaurant in the background. Lecter goes there and plays on Kolnas's emotions by threatening his children. Kolnas gives up the location of Grutas's boat but Lecter kills him when Kolnas goes for Lecter's gun. Lecter goes to the houseboat and finds Grutas assaulting Lady Murasaki. In a final confrontation, Grutas claims that Lecter had also consumed his sister in broth fed to him by the soldiers and he was killing them to keep this fact secret. Enraged by the revelation, Lecter eviscerates Grutas by repeatedly carving his sister's initial into his body. Lady Murasaki, finally disturbed by his behavior, flees from him even after he tells her that he loves her. The houseboat is incinerated and Lecter, assumed to be dead, emerges from the woods. He then hunts the last member of the group, Grentz, in Melville, Canada, before settling down in Canada and later the United States.



Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds an approval rating of 16% based on 148 reviews, with an average rating of 4.10/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Hannibal Rising reduces the horror icon to a collection of dime-store psychological traits."[10] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 35 out of 100 based on 30 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable" reviews.[11] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale.[12]

The film was nominated for, but did not win, two Golden Raspberry Awards. They were for Worst Prequel or Sequel (lost to Daddy Day Camp) and Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie (lost to I Know Who Killed Me).[citation needed]

Box office[edit]

The film opened at No. 2 in the United States with $13.4 million from 3,003 theaters, finishing behind Norbit ($33.7 million), which was released during the same week as Hannibal Rising.[13] In its second week of release, Hannibal Rising dropped to No. 7 at the U.S. box office, making $5.5 million, a 58.5% drop from the previous week.[2] It dropped out of the top 10 U.S. grossing films in its third week of release at No. 13 with $1.7 million (a 68.5% drop).[2] After a theatrical release of 91 days, the final total North American domestic gross of the film was $27.7 million,[2] less than the opening weekend gross of both Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002) ($58 million and $36.5 million, respectively).[14][15] It grossed a total of $82.1 million worldwide.[2]

Home media[edit]

The DVD was released in the United States on 29 May 2007, debuted at No. 1 and sold 480,861 units in the opening weekend, generating revenue of $10,574,133.[16] As of February 2023, the film has grossed $24,295,206 from DVD sales alone. Blu-ray sales or DVD rentals are not included.[17]

The DVD extras include an unrated version of the film, audio commentary by director Peter Webber and producer Martha De Laurentiis, five deleted scenes with optional commentary from the director, promo spots, and a 16- minute featurette titled "Hannibal Lecter: The Origin Of Evil", featuring interviews with the cast and crew and behind-the-scenes footage.[18]

Explanatory notes[edit]

  1. ^ The franchise has five films, the first being a standalone film, making Hannibal Rising the fifth franchise film and the fourth of the Dino De Laurentiis Company production.


  1. ^ "Hannibal Rising". UniFrance. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Hannibal Rising". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  3. ^ Hannibal Rising. British Board of Film Classification. Momentum Pictures. 15 January 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d "Hannibal Rising". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 26 September 2022. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  5. ^ "Hannibal Rising de Peter Webber (2006)". UniFrance. Archived from the original on 26 September 2022. Retrieved 26 September 2022. Technical details > Nationality : Minority French
  6. ^ Harvey, Dennis (8 February 2007). "Hannibal Rising". Variety. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  7. ^ "AFI Catalog - Hannibal Rising (2007)". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 26 September 2022. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  8. ^ "Hannibal Rising". Cineuropa. Archived from the original on 26 September 2022. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  9. ^ "Hannibal Rising (2007)". The Numbers. Archived from the original on 24 November 2022. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  10. ^ Hannibal Rising at Rotten Tomatoes Fandango Media
  11. ^ Hannibal Rising at Metacritic Edit this at Wikidata CBS Interactive
  12. ^ "Find CinemaScore" (Type "Hannbal" in the search box). CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  13. ^ "Eddie Murphy box office heavyweight with "Norbit"". Yahoo! Movies: Movie News. 11 February 2007. Archived from the original on 13 February 2007.
  14. ^ "Hannibal". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  15. ^ "Red Dragon". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  16. ^ Arnold, Thomas K. (6 June 2007). ""Hannibal" bites off top spot on video sales chart". Reuters. Archived from the original on 7 April 2022. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  17. ^ "Hannibal Rising – DVD Sales". The Numbers. Archived from the original on 8 February 2023. Retrieved 8 February 2023.
  18. ^ Jane, Ian (1 June 2007). "Hannibal Rising". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on 7 April 2022.

External links[edit]