We're still a good ways off from the midseason premiere of NBC's new Hannibal series, but the casting news continues, and today the show added another heavy hitter.
Laurence Fishburne has now signed on to play the character of Jack Crawford, head of the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit, and direct boss to Hugh Dancy's Agent Will Graham. Fishburne is of course best known for his roles as Morpheus in the Matrix trilogy, and as Dr. Ray Langston on three seasons of the CBS crime procedural CSI. Crawford is the person who first introduces Graham to "respected psychiatrist" Dr. Hannibal Lecter (played in this series by Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen), which we all know eventually leads to Lecter's murderous double life being exposed.
In an interesting sidenote, this will be the first time Crawford has been played by a non-white actor. Dennis Farina portrayed Crawford in Michael Mann's initial Lecter film Manhunter, Scott Glenn took over the character for The Silence Of The Lambs, and Harvey Keitel became the last one to play Crawford to date in 2002's Red Dragon. To be clear, I point this out simply for trivia's sake, not because I have any issue with the change. Fishburne is a very talented actor, and will be a terrific addition to the cast.
Executive Producer Bryan Fuller had this to say about the soon-to-be Jack Crawford - "Laurence Fishburne is an iconic man who has been making his cinematic mark since Apocalypse Now and it’s a thrill not only to work with him but to see such a brilliant, sophisticated actor step into the shoes of Thomas Harris’ brilliant, sophisticated character. I cannot imagine a better cast for Hannibal than the one we’ve assembled."
No firm premiere date for Hannibal has been set, but look for it in January or February of 2013. I was quite skeptical of this project at first, but the cast is coming together quite nicely, and I now plan on tuning in to at least the first episode.
Will you enter the mind of Hannibal? Or should everyone's favorite cannibal be retired?