Don’t expect Hannibal Lecter to feature in the upcoming CBS series Clarice. The Silence of the Lambs spinoff series can’t talk about the cannibal doctor.

And not just ‘Clarice Starling is traumatized, she doesn’t want to talk about him.’ The show literally, legally cannot use Hannibal Lecter.

Apparently, it’s down to a complex intellectual property rights issue. The rights to Thomas Harris’ novel characters are divided between MGM and the Dino De Laurentiis Company. If you’re familiar with NBC’s Hannibal series, you can think of Clarice as basically including all the characters who WEREN’T on Hannibal. That means Clarice can use Agent Starling herself, along with her colleague Ardelia Mapp and the serial killer Buffalo Bill.

Still, executive producer Alex Kurtzman doesn’t see this as a problem.

“I’m still trying to understand how the rights are divided,” Kurtzman admits. “But it’s been quite liberating because we have no interest in writing about Hannibal – not because we didn’t love the films and the show, but because it was done so well by so many people that it didn’t feel fresh for us.”

Though Clarice can’t actually talk about Hannibal Lecter, the series will pick up only a year after their encounter. So, the experience is still fresh in Clarice’s mind – and everyone else’s. The show also opted to include the influence of real life events too. We’re going to see Clarice deal with the aftermath of real events like the tragedies at Waco and Ruby Ridge, as well as the first World Trade Center bombing.

“The FBI has just had their asses handed to them, and that puts a tremendous amount of pressure on Clarice and all the characters in the FBI building,” said Kurtzman.

Clarice premieres February 11 on CBS.

So, what do you think? Will you watch Clarice Starling go it alone, no Hannibal involved? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Entertainment Weekly