Oscar-winner to star in New Line thriller

Move over Buffalo Bill — Anthony Hopkins is on the trail of a new serial killer.

Hopkins, who won an Oscar for playing murderous Dr. Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs,” is heading to the other side of the law, as the “Thor” thesp is in final negotiations to star in New Line’s serial killer pic “Solace.”

Hopkins will play John Clancy, a former doctor with psychic abilities who works for the FBI and is drawn into a unique serial killer case that pits him against a formidable foe.

Though there’s no director attached yet, former Contrafilm partners Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson are producing the elevated genre pic, while Matthias Emcke and Thomas Augsberger (“Mr. Brooks”) will exec produce.

Sean Bailey and Ted Griffin wrote the original draft of the script, which was then rewritten by James Vanderbilt (“Zodiac”). Peter Morgan wrote the most recent draft, and production is slated to start early next year.

“Solace” comes together at a time when studios seem to be cutting back on serial killer pics, as auds get their weekly fix of gruesome deaths and law enforcement procedure on TV dramas such as “CSI” and “Criminal Minds.” None of the other major studios have serial killer films in active development (though Relativity Media releases “The Raven” in March, and Disney has a built-in excuse), as mortal bogeymen seem to have been replaced by assassins, extraterrestrials and various supernatural creatures.

Hopkins recently starred as Odin in Kenneth Branagh’s superhero pic “Thor” and played an exorcist in New Line and Contrafilm’s “The Rite.” Welsh thesp next stars in Fernando Meirelles’ TIFF-bound drama “360.”

Hopkins is repped by UTA and Independent Talent Group.

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