Hannibal recognized that he still needed to cross the Pyrenees, the Alps, and many significant rivers.  Additionally, he would have to contend with opposition from the Gauls , whose territory he passed through. Starting in the spring of 218 BC, he crossed the Pyrenees and reached the Rhône by conciliating the Gaulish chiefs along his passage before the Romans could take any measures to bar his advance, arriving at the Rhône in September. Hannibal's army numbered 38,000 infantry, 8,000 cavalry, and 38 elephants, almost none of which would survive the harsh conditions of the Alps. 
Although Scott had accepted the job Demme had rejected, he said: "My first question was: 'What about Jonathan?' and they said: 'The original team said it's too violent.' I said, 'Okay. I'll do it.'" Scott did, himself, have some uncertainty with the source material. In particular, he had difficulties with the ending of the novel, in which Lecter and Starling become lovers: "I couldn't take that quantum leap emotionally on behalf of Starling. Certainly, on behalf of Hannibal—I'm sure that's been in the back of his mind for a number of years. But for Starling, no. I think one of the attractions about Starling to Hannibal is what a straight arrow she is." He also "didn't buy the book from the opera scene onwards, which became like a vampire movie." He asked Harris if he was "married to his ending". Harris said he was not, so Scott changed it.