Hannibal Lecter is returning to cinemas in a film about the cannibal killer's early years.

The LECTER VARIATION: THE STORY OF YOUNG HANNIBAL LECTER is being planned by his creator THOMAS HARRIS.

Italian Producer DINO DE LAURENTIIS said four actors would be needed to play Hannibal at the ages of 12, 16, 20 and 25 years of age.

The film will trace his childhood in Lithuania through his teenage years in Paris to his arrival in the US.

De Laurentiis says, "Lecter was born into a very rich family but the war destroyed it and killed his parents.

"He was left with his sister with whom he had a very close relationship."

The character of Lecter is most closely associated with SIR ANTHONY HOPKINS in the 1991 chiller The Silence of the Lambs.

Hopkins resumed the role in the follow-up Hannibal and prequel RED DRAGON - a remake of MANHUNTER, which had featured Brian Cox as the psychopathic killer.

14/05/2003 21:16