Sometimes, the movie characters we want to learn more about aren’t necessarily the good guys, and Hannibal is a perfect example of that. Since there are quite a few movies and shows you can watch, let’s dive in and see how we can watch them all and what order is best.
The whole franchise is based on a series of novels signed by Thomas Harris. There are four novels in total, the first released in 1981 and the last one in 2006.
When it comes to film and movie adaptations, it’s clear that the franchise is far from dead. The first time Hannibal appeared on screen was in 1986, while another series is expected to premiere in February 2021 on CBS.
The main characters have also been played by quite a few actors. Lecter was played by Brian Cox, Anthony Hopkins, Gaspard Ulliel, and Mads Mikkelsen. Criminal profiler Will Graham was also played by Hugh Dancy and Edward Norton, while Clarice Starling, the FBI Academy student who interviews Lecter, was played by Jodie Foster, Julianne Moore, and will be portrayed by Rebecca Breeds in the new CBS show.
Watching Hannibal films and shows can be done in a couple of ways, so let’s dive into it and see how we can do this.
How to Watch Hannibal by Release Order?
If we’re going to focus on the order of release, then we have a clear path on how to watch the movies and shows in the franchise.
- Manhunter (1986)
- The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
- Hannibal (2001)
- Red Dragon (2002)
- Hannibal Rising (2007)
- Hannibal (TV series) (2013–2015)
- Clarice (2021)
In this way, you’ll follow Hannibal Lecter’s story as well as the story of those around him in the same way that everyone else has over the past 35 years.
How to Watch Hannibal in Chronological Order?
If we’re going to watch the Hannibal movies and shows in chronological order, we’re going to weave a bit through history.
- Hannibal Rising
- Red Dragon
- The Silence of the Lambs
You’ll notice that we didn’t include the shows in the list – and that’s because the Hannibal TV series follows the events before the original movie trilogy but after Hannibal Rising. It’s a more at-length tale of Will Graham and Lecter’s relationship and the twisted connection between the two. Technically, the show’s events occur before the appearance of Clarice Starling.
Talking of which, the Clarice show, which is incoming in February on CBS, is set a year after The Silence of the Lambs and focuses on Clarice as she pursues other serial criminals. It’s going to be an interesting dive into a character that everyone loved.
Where to Watch Hannibal?
We’ve also run on search on all major platforms, trying to find the movies so you can stream them. We weren’t lucky in all instances, but we did manage to find some of them.
- Manhunter – not available to stream
- The Silence of the Lambs – Philo & fuboTV (requires subscription)
- Hannibal – not available to stream
- Red Dragon – not available to stream
- Hannibal Rising – not available to stream
- Hannibal (TV series) – Netflix
- Clarice – CBS All Access (Starting with February 11th, 2021)
We are sure that the other titles that are not currently available to stream (but you can rent them) will pop up back on streaming platforms in no time. So, if you want to run a streaming marathon, you’ll have to wait a little.