‘Hannibal Rising’ Star Gaspard Ulliel’s Death Ruled Accidental: Report

by Matthew Memrick

Authorities ruled that actor and “Hannibal Rising” star Gaspard Ulliel’s tragic skiing death in the French Alps was an accident last week.

Variety reported that the 37-year-old actor, who was to star in the upcoming Marvel “Moon Knight” series, died in a Jan. 19 collision with another skier. Albertville, France, officials were investigating a man for manslaughter.

Ulliel portrayed a young Hannibal Lector in the 2007 movie. The film also starred Rhys Ifans and Dominic West. 

In the Marvel series, the actor plays Midnight Man, a former Marine who gets the powers of an Egyptian moon god. The man, diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, soon learns that the newfound powers can be both good and evil in his life. Oscar Issac and Ethan Hawke also star in the miniseries.

Disney+ will release the six-episode series on March 30.

Ski Accident Happened In Afternoon

Ulliel was on an intermediate La Rosière resort slope in clear weather when he hit a skier while making a left turn around 4 p.m.

Both men, who were skiing at average speeds, hit the ground. The 40-year-old Lithuanian man wore a helmet and did not have any major injuries. The actor was not wearing a helmet when the authorities arrived. According to the resort, authorities questioned and released the man. He told investigators that the collision was not very violent.

Emergency personnel took the actor to a Grenoble hospital, where he died from his brain injury.

Thursday was Gaspard Ulliel’s funeral in Paris at the Sainte-Eustache church. Nearly 1,000 attended the actor’s funeral, including his family and six-year-old son. Other actors that came to the service included Catherine Deneuve, Lea Seydoux, Jérémie Renier, Vincent Cassel, and Nathalie Baye.

French Actor Was On Break From Filming

Directors Marin Scorsese and Xavier Dolan paid tribute to Ulliel over the past few days. Dolan, who directed the man in “It’s Only The End of The World,” posted a tribute on Instagram in French. 

Dolan said it was “it’s unbelievable, absurd, and so painful to even think of writing these words” about the actor’s death. He complimented the late actor’s laughter, talent, and listening skill.

Scorsese directed Ulliel in a 2010 commercial for the Chanel cologne Bleu. The director told IndieWire that he was “impressed by [Ulliel’s] dedication and his intelligence.” Scorsese related Ulliel’s love for the cinema and revealed the actor’s dream of becoming a filmmaker. 

According to the Daily Mail, Chanel remembered the actor during Tuesday’s Spring Summer 2022 show. After the show, a model dressed as a bride walked down the catwalk with a small bouquet of black and blue flowers. The flower bouquet consisted of Chanel’s iconic camellia flowers.  

Ulliel was filming “Lost Illusions” for director Xavier Giannoli and film distributor Canal Plus. Production was set to resume on Jan. 31.