There are currently 2 different TV series in development based on Thomas Harris’ famous character Hannibal Lector, forever immortalized in pop culture by Sir Anthony Hopkins’ Oscar winning portrayal of the fava beans and liver eating, mass murdering doctor in Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon.
Up until now, I haven’t really been paying that much attention to them, because they’d be hard pressed to improve or even match what was done in that film. Well, that was until I read two simple words: Mads Mikkelsen.
David Fueller (Pushing Daises), NBC’s showrunner for the new series, also titled Hannibal, has chosen the acclaimed Danish actor to take the lead role after a pretty exhaustive search. And apparently while the other contenders were far more well known to the average filmgoer, Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, King Arthur, Valhalla Rising) is an inspired choice if you ask me.
Fresh off of a best actor win at Cannes, the actor has just landed the role of one of the villains in Thor 2, which is all certainly going to give his public profile a massive boost. The man is also a scenery black hole, just sucking up all the attention when he’s on-screen with a charisma that borders on supernatural. And that’s exactly what you need to make this role work: Lector was always a monster, but through Hopkin’s portrayal he became a monster we couldn’t get enough of. Well, up until he flambeed pieces of Ray Liotta’s brain while he was still alive and then fed it to him. That was just cold.
According to an earlier interview with Fuller, the series will be based off Harris’ 1981 novel, Red Dragon, which was the basis for Hopkin’s third stint as the character as well as Michael Mann’s film, Manhunter, which saw Brian Cox in the cannibalistic role. Fuller envisions this to be a seven season series which will deal with events leading up to that story, as FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) enlists the help of the renowned psychiatrist, Dr Lector, to help in the solving of crimes, not realizing that the man he’s working with has a tendency to cut off your face and wear it like a Halloween mask.
And for those dreading that this will be the third time that this narrative will be covered outside of the original book, then don’t worry as Fuller and co will be making some changes to keep things fresh:
“It’s before he was incarcerated, so he’s more of a peacock. There is a cheery disposition to our Hannibal. He’s not being telegraphed as a villain. If the audience didn’t know who he was, they wouldn’t see him coming. What we have is Alfred Hitchcock’s principle of suspense — show the audience the bomb under the table and let them sweat when it’s going to go boom. So the audience knows who Hannibal is so we don’t have to overplay his villainy. We get to subvert his legacy and give the audience twists and turns.””
David Slade (30 Days of Night, Eclipse) is currently set to direct the pilot episode, which unfortunately does not have an official premier date yet.
And just for old time’s sake, here’s Lector telling us about one of his favourite snacks.
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)
Last Updated: June 5, 2012
June 5, 2012 at 12:11
Aaaah, Mads! He’s an inspired choice to play Doctor Lector. As long as he doesn’t spend 50 minutes on a Viking ship staring at the ocean.