A wise man once told Clarice Starling, “the world is more interesting with you in it,” and the folks at CBS agree, as the network is moving forward its Silence of the Lambs sequel, having just cast its titular FBI agent.
Pretty Little Liars actress Rebecca Breeds will lead the CBS series Clarice, which takes place in the aftermath of the events seen in Jonathan Demme‘s 1991 masterpiece The Silence of the Lambs. Jodie Foster originated the character in that Oscar-winning film — the last to ‘sweep’ the Academy Awards — and Julianne Moore inherited the role in Ridley Scott‘s 2001 sequel Hannibal. Since then, the character has been on ice, which is better than being on Dr. Lecter’s dinner plate, I suppose.
This new Clarice series will follow Starling as the brilliant yet vulnerable agent hunts down new serial killers and sexual predators, all while navigating the political world of Washington D.C. I suppose that means CBS will be casting a new Jack Crawford, and possibly a new Lecter, though I don’t have that confirmed. Since the character is on the lam at the end of Lambs (pun intended), Clarice won’t be able to call on his expertise like before, though he could always initiate contact if he wanted.
Breeds has some big shoes to fill. I’ve never heard of her before, and yet she’s poised to follow in the footsteps of Oscar winners like Foster and Moore. That’s no easy feat, but the mere fact that I’m writing up CBS casting news suggests that this series could bring new eyeballs to the network. Clarice Starling is one of the greatest characters in all of cinema, male or female, so there’s plenty for an actress to mine, including the character’s challenging childhood and family secrets that have been a burden her entire life. The question for fans is whether CBS can create a show worthy of the character, one that rises above the network’s tried-and-true formula for crime procedurals.
Clarice hails from MGM and CBS Television Studios as well as writers Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, who will also executive produce along with Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout partner Heather Kadin. Aaron Baiers will serve as a co-executive producer on the project, which received a series commitment from CBS back in January.
In addition to Pretty Little Liars, Breeds has also recurred on The Originals, while her recent TV credits include The Code and The Brave. She also starred on the Australian show Home and Away that has birthed a galaxy of Hollywood stars. Breeds is represented by UTA, Untitled Entertainment, and Mark Morrissey Management in Australia.