Monday, June 04, 2012

Mads Mikkelsen Cast as Hannibal Lecter in NBC's Crime Drama Hannibal

Mads Mikkelsen

NBC is developing a crime drama based on the character of Hannibal Lecter — and using the first in the series of books to feature him, Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, as the starting point for its storyline. Regardless of how good the screenwriting may be or how high its production values, the key to this show's success will be its casting. (NBC doesn't have the best track record in this regard, but we digress …)

Today, NBC announced that Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has been cast in the role. This may actually be an inspired choice on the part of the producers. He's largely an unknown here in the US and may be best remembered as the villain with the carpet beater in the James Bond film Casino Royale. And he just looks the part, which is probably more than half the battle.

The other key role in the series, criminal profiler Will Graham, has previously announced will be played by Hugh Dancy. In the book, Graham solicits Lecter's help in solving a series of murders … not realizing exactly who — or what — Hannibal Lecter is.

Hannibal is expected to premiere mid-season (early 2013) on NBC. Red Dragon, originally published in 1981, was previously adapted into two films, the 1986 Manhunter (with Brian Cox as Hannibal Lecter and William Petersen as Will Graham) and Red Dragon from 2002 (starring Anthony Hopkins and Edward Norton, respectively).

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