When NBC first announced its intention to bring Thomas Harris' Hannibal universe to primetime TV, I was very skeptical. I enjoyed all four film efforts set in that universe to date (those being Manhunter, The Silence Of The Lambs, Hannibal, and Red Dragon), and was worried that the often grisly world of Dr. Lecter wouldn't translate well to the small screen.
That all changed once casting began. While I'm not very familiar with English actor Hugh Dancy (who will portray FBI agent Will Graham), I thought "Casino Royale" villain Mads Mikkelsen was an inspired choice for Hannibal. Then they cast "Wonderfalls" lead Caroline Dhavernas as one of Graham's FBI colleagues. Then Morpheus himself, Laurence Fishburne as Graham's boss Jack Crawford. Then "Firefly"'s Gina Torres as Crawford's wife. Then they cast Gillian Anderson (aka Dana Scully from The X-Files) as Dr. Lecter's own psychiatrist. At that point, I didn't see how us genre fans could possibly be more pleased with the Hannibal casting department.
Which brings us to today's development. Sci-fi and horror icon Lance Henriksen (Aliens, The Terminator, Pumpkinhead, Near Dark, Millennium and literally dozens more films and TV shows) has just signed on to guest star in at least one episode of the aforementioned NBC series. Details on Lance's role are being kept close to the vest of producer Bryan Fuller at this point, but if they bothered to cast Lance Henriksen, I seriously doubt it's some throwaway cameo. Maybe the former Bishop might find himself joining Hannibal for dinner? Oh the possibilities.
While originally promoted as a mid-season series, it is looking increasingly likely that Hannibal will debut at or near the beginning of summer. It makes sense, considering the broadcast networks' new push to try and compete with all the original programming being churned out by cable stations during the traditionally re-run heavy summer season.
Are you glad to see Lance Henriksen returning to TV? Do you think Hannibal should premiere soon or wait until the summer?