Ever since it was announced that NBC was teaming with writer-producer Bryan Fuller to bring Dr. Hannibal Lecter to the small screen, one thing everyone has agreed on is that the show's chances will rise or fall based on whoever gets tasked with the titular role. Anthony Hopkins' performance as Hannibal is legendary, and leaves massive shoes for any new actor to try to fill. Some speculated that the network would go with a big name star in the role, but the show's producers have now gone in a different direction.
Mads Mikkelsen is a Danish actor, that burst onto the Hollywood scene in 2006 as sadistic, blood-crying villain Le Chiffre in the James Bond flick Casino Royale. Since then he's played several acclaimed roles in smaller films, and recently won Best Actor at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival for his work in Danish drama The Hunt. If you didn't know the man's name before, you most definitely will now, as he has accepted the villain role in the upcoming blockbuster Thor 2. British actor Hugh Dancy has already been cast in the role of Lecter's nemesis Will Graham. If nothing else, NBC is lining up a very talented duo to anchor the series.
The NBC drama will of course be a prequel to Thomas Harris' first novel Red Dragon, and will follow FBI Agent Graham as he teams with then respected psychologist Lecter to catch a brutal serial killer. Bryan Fuller had this to say recently about the show's version of Hannibal - "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." To be honest, I was very skeptical at first, but I'm beginning to think that NBC and Fuller might just know what they're doing with this one after all.
Will you be watching when Hannibal invades the world of TV? Do you think Mikkelsen is a good choice?