The Hannibal Lecter franchise is an American media franchise based around the titular character, Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal's character is ingrained in popular culture. He is a brilliant, cannibalistic serial killer whose assistance is routinely sought out by law enforcement personnel to help catch other criminals. Are you in the mood for a movie marathon? Then, watching the Hannibal movies in order is the best way to go!
The main character originated from a series of novels by Thomas Harris. His first appearance was in 1981 in the book Red Dragon. Since then, he has been an enduring icon and has expanded into film and television. To follow the films' events, you may want to know the order of Hannibal movies.
How many Hannibal movies are there with Anthony Hopkins? While the character is memorable given how popular he is, the actor that played the role is also quite famous. Anthony Hopkins played Lecter in three films: Hannibal, Lambs, Red Dragon.
What is the best order to watch Hannibal Lecter movies?
Do you want to know what order to watch the Hannibal movies? Interestingly, not all Hannibal films and TV shows are connected. You could choose to watch the film adaptations without including the TV series. If you want to watch the scary Hannibal movies in chronological order, this list has got you covered:
Download YEN's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with all major Ghana news
1. Hannibal Rising (2007)
Hannibal Rising is a prequel to the rest of the films set in 1944. Lecter and his younger sister Mischa are the sole survivors of an explosion that killed their parents. Lithuanian soldiers storm and loot the cottage looking for food. Not finding any, they cannibalize his sister.
Lecter goes ahead to live in Paris with his aunt. His first murder is a local butcher who insults his aunt, but he is not suspected. Hannibal later travels back home and kills off the crew members who killed his sister one by one. The film ends with him killing the last group member and then leaving for America.
Though this film was released later than the initial films, it is a prequel that gives Hannibal a backstory about how he began his reign of terror. You should definitely watch it first.
2. Manhunter (1986)
Manhunter follows Will Graham, an FBI retiree who was attacked by the serial killer Dr Hannibal Lecktor (the name is spelled differently) and had a mental breakdown. His superior enlisted him to investigate another serial killer known as the Tooth Fairy. As Lecktor is a former psychiatrist, Graham consults him.
After a lengthy investigation, Graham finds the connection between the serial killer's victims and manages to stop him. Graham then returns home to retire permanently. To watch in order, this should be your second stop. Although most people watch it first.
3. Red Dragon – (2002)
Does Red Dragon come before Hannibal? Although Red Dragon was released after Hannibal, chronologically speaking, it comes before Hannibal. The film follows the same plot as the Manhunter, with several embellishments. The film begins with FBI agent Will Graham consulting forensic psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter for a murder case.
The film then follows the Tooth Fairy storyline. However, the Tooth Fairy manages to infiltrate Graham's home and take his son hostage in the end. The two are finally embroiled in a shootout which ends when Graham's wife kills Dolarhyde.
As part of the classic trilogy that was played by Anthony Hopkins, this is one of the most viewed films in the series.
4. The Silence of the Lambs – (1991)
When people hear the term Hannibal Lecter movie, they have this film in mind. It was the first Lecter film to go viral and is the main reason the titular character has such a cult following. Watching The Silence of the Lambs movies in order makes for a great viewing experience. The storyline starts where the Manhunter left off.
Jack Crawford assigns Clarice Starling to interview Hannibal Lecter, the famous serial killer. Though the former psychiatrist is incarcerated, the FBI believes that he could provide valuable insight into their case against another serial killer "Buffalo Bill".
When Buffalo Bill kidnaps someone, Lecter agrees to help in exchange for Starling's personal information. Starling agrees and manages to catch and shoot the serial killer. Eventually, Lecter escapes from prison and disappears.
5. Clarice – (2021)
Clarice is set one year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs, although it is one of the Hannibal movies made years later. FBI Agent Clarice Starling gets an assignment from the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VICAP) to aid in the investigation of several serial killings.
Unfortunately, Starling is captured and subdued by a deranged doctor who sedates her with drugs during the investigation. After being rescued by the FBI, she blows up at another agent and then hands in her badge and her gun.
When the investigation is completed successfully, she is reinstated but is put on mandatory leave to recuperate from the traumatic events she goes through in the film.
6. Hannibal – (2001)
Mason Verger, a wealthy paedophile, plans to avenge Hannibal Lecter, who hurt him. Meanwhile, FBI Agent Clarice Starling's career crumbles after being blamed for a drug raid gone wrong. So Mason teams up with a corrupt Justice department agent Paul Krendler, to use Starling to lure Lecter out.
Lecter is captured by Verger's men, who plan to feed the psychiatrist to his breed of wild boars. Starling has a moment of conscience and decides to rescue Lecter. Unfortunately, she is shot by a guard in the process. Afterwards, Verger's assistant feeds his boss to the boars instead of Lecter.
In a desperate attempt, Starling manages to handcuff her hands to Lecter's while professing his love for her and traps him. When he hears the sirens, Lecter raises a cleaver and is about to cut off her hand to escape. Later, Starling is seen with her hand intact, and Lecter is seen on a flight with his bandaged arm in a sling.
Is Red Dragon a sequel to Hannibal? No, although Red Dragon was released a year after Hannibal, there is a considerable time gap between the events of the two films.
7. Hannibal TV series – (2013 to 2015 )
In the Hannibal TV series, Jack Crawford initiates Will Graham into the Behavioral Science Unit to investigate a case where college girls went missing. He asks Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a cannibalistic serial killer, to assist in the investigation. Together they hunt down the murderer.
The show spans several seasons, which all address different parts of Lecter's story, some of which are covered in the films mentioned. You may choose to watch the show as a continuation of the movies or as a stand-alone.
Watching the Hannibal movies in order is an amazing experience whether you have seen the films before or not. Since the films have been released without regard to the chronological flow, it is up to you to know which order to watch them. This list ensures that you get the best viewing experience possible.
The show has aired over 900 episodes and continues to be on the air to this day. Watching One Piece movies and TV series in order of release is one of the easiest ways around the film.
Our manifesto: This is what YEN.com.gh believes in