Will Clarice Starling Be On 'Hannibal'? Bryan Fuller Plans To Diversify This Iconic Character & That's Great News

Mason Verger, Will Graham, Dr. Chilton, Francis Dolarhyde… these are just a few of the many familiar faces we've seen appear (or at least will see appear very soon) on the NBC Hannibal adaptation series. However, there's one very iconic character who has yet to make an appearance, and that's Jodie Foster's FBI agent Clarice Starling. Her relationship with Hannibal is almost just as fascinating (if not more so) than the relationship he shares with Will Graham. So does this mean we can expect a version of Clarice to show up on Hannibal once Lecter is finally caught? Series creator Bryan Fuller was unable to confirm to one way or the other during a call with reporters. But, he did reveal that if Clarice does appear on the series, he plans on making a few big changes in regards to her appearance.

"If we do ever tell Clarice Starling’s story, I think it might be interesting to change ethnicities on Clarice and get a different perspective of a young southern woman’s experience and put race as a component in that woman’s view of the world," he says. Fuller is aware that racial issues are serious subjects, and believes that diversifying Clarice could add a new and exciting depth to the character that we've never seen before.

Personally, I think it's a rather genius idea, though I'm not naive enough to think everyone will be on board. Similar to the backlash Michael B. Jordan has faced in light of his racially blind casting as Johnny Storm in the upcoming Fantastic Four film, some people have a hard time dealing with the diversification of beloved characters, claiming that it doesn't "stay true" to the story's original intent. But to that, I'd argue that one of the great things about the entertainment industry is its ability to make groundbreaking creative choices.

Fuller's idea presents another opportunity to broaden viewers' perspectives, and show that change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can be a pretty great if you let it be. So, the only question that remains then is this: Who would be the perfect actress for the part? (Did anyone else immediately think of Sleepy Hollow's Nicole Beharie? Just saying!) Let the speculation commence. Or, as Hannibal would probably put it: Bon appétit!

Image: Orion Pictures; stephanie-shea/Tumblr