NBC has cast the role of Hannibal Lecter, the notorious cannibal and serial killer, in its upcoming drama series “Hannibal,” Deadline.com reports. The part goes to Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, who just won the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Mikkelsen, who was honored at Cannes for his work in “The Hunt,” has also recently landed the villain role in “Thor 2,” the story notes.
The role will be the U.S. television debut for Mikkelsen, who will appear opposite Hugh Dancy. The series, from Gaumont International Television, is slated for a 13-episode run. Bryan Fuller is writing and executive producing, with Martha DeLaurentiis also executive producing.
The report adds: “The project is described as a contemporary thriller featuring the classic characters from Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon — FBI agent Will Graham (Dancy) and his mentor Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mikkelsen) — who are re-introduced at the beginning of their budding relationship. Graham [is] a gifted criminal profiler on the hunt for a serial killer with the FBI who enlists the help of Dr. Lecter, one of the premier psychiatric minds in the country, with no clue about his darker side.”
Mikkelsen will have to try to step out from the shadow of Anthony Hopkins, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs.”