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Who Will Play Hannibal Lecter In the New NBC Series?

Mads Mikkelsen Hannibal Lecter NBC
Vittorio Zunino Celotto, Getty Images

In spite of NBC’s pre-’Red Dragon’ straight-to-series drama ‘Hannibal‘ not being present at the past Upfront event, a considerable amount of buzz surrounds the series.  After all, to put Hannibal Lecter on TV you’d need some ace casting, no?  We already knew that Hugh Dancy would take the role of a young agent Will Graham, but we’ve been tepidly swirling our Chianti waiting for news of the man himself.  No longer!

Break out the fava beans, because Mads Mikkelsen is about to get hungry: TVLine has revealed that NBC has just cast the Danish actor in the iconic role of Hannibal Lecter for their forthcoming adaptation of author Jonathan Harris’ work, simply titled ‘Hannibal.’  Mikkelsen joins Hugh Dancy as the leads of the series, playing a young protege of Hannibal’s, Agent Will Graham of the novel ‘Red Dragon.’

Rather than cover the territory of ‘Red Dragon’ however, the series (written and executive produced by ‘Pushing Daisies’ creator Bryan Fuller) follows the early days of the relationship between Lecter and Graham.  Updated for the modern day, Fuller reportedly envisions the series as a “love story” told across at least seven seasons.  NBC ordered ‘Hannibal’ straight to series, rather than wait for a pilot.

The casting marks a streak of increasing popularity for the Danish Mikkelsen, who was also recently cast as the lead villain of Marvel’s ‘Thor‘ sequel.  Prior to that, Mikkelsen was best known to American audiences for playing the villain LeChiffre in the re-booted Bond series take on ‘Casino Royale.’  Mikkelsen also recently earned the Best Actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his role in Thomas Vinterberg’s ‘The Hunt.’

What say you?  We’re on board, but do you think Mads Mikkelsen has the chops (get it?) to bring Hannibal Lecter to life on the small screen?  Tell us if you’ll watch ‘Hannibal,’ or who you’d rather see cast in the comments below!

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