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Hamming It Up: 'Hannibal''s Animal Casting

The sequel to ‘Silence of the Lambs’ recently auditioned 6,000 pigs to find the right 15 boards for the film

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Casting for Hannibal has been completed, and it turns out to be something of a boar. As readers of Thomas Harris’ best-seller know, the sequel to The Silence of the Lambs features a pack of man-eating pigs that vengeful Southerner Mason Verger (Gary Oldman) sics on Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). But rooting out Verger’s porcine pals proved almost as arduous as the selection of Julianne Moore to replace Jodie Foster. Animal wrangler Sled Reynolds says a whopping 6,000 hogs were auditioned in an international cattle call — er, casting call — seeking trainable hams with the right look of menace. A Winnipeg, Canada, rancher sniffed out the final 15, Russian boars all. So just how vicious are these porkers? ”They really don’t attack — they’re just trained to go grab stuff,” says Reynolds. ”I mean, if they’re crazy, how do you work around them?” Ever hear of Marlon Brando?