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'Hannibal' the TV series casts its villain

The 'Hannibal' TV series on NBC has cast a former James Bond villain as its titular character.

By Sandy SchaeferScreen Rant / June 5, 2012

Actor Mads Mikkelsen has previously starred as the main villain, Le Chiffre, in the well-received 2006 James Bond film 'Casino Royale.'

Eric Gaillard/Reuters


It’s taken a while, but NBC and showrunner Bryan Fuller (the creator of Pushing Daisies) have finally settled on an actor to portray Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter, M.D., in their upcoming television series, Hannibal.

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The man in question is Mads Mikkelsen, the Danish thespian who broke out onto the Hollywood scene with his turn as the villain (with a bleeding eye) in Casino Royale. Mikkelsen was also recently approached to play an antagonist in Thor 2; his being locked down for Hannibal suggests that might no longer be an option.

Mikkelsen will play Dr. Lecter opposite fellow King Arthur alum, Hugh Dancy, who will portray FBI profiler Will Graham on Fuller’s Hannibal. The Lecter/Graham duo originated in Thomas Harris’ 1981 novel “Red Dragon,” which was the basis for Michael Mann’s Manhunter – featuring Brian Cox and William Petersen as the pair – along with Brett Ratner’s Red Dragon, which saw Anthony Hopkins and Edward Norton try their hands at bringing those respective characters to life (a third time, in Hopkins’ case).

When Fuller previously spoke to EW, he revealed that Hannibal begins prior to the events in Red Dragon. Moreover, the show starts off by portraying Lecter as “more of a peacock [with] a cheery disposition… He’s not being telegraphed as a villain. If the audience didn’t know who he was, they wouldn’t see him coming… We get to subvert his legacy and give the audience twists and turns.”

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