Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen lands role of Hannibal Lecter

After a long search, NBC and writer-producer Bryan Fuller have found the star of their upcoming drama series Hannibal.
Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has landed the coveted role. You may not recognize his name, but we consider the actor a great get. He’s best known as the blood-crying villain Le Chiffre from the James Bond film Casino Royale and was just honored with the best actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his performance in Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt. He also had a supporting role in the Clash of the Titans reboot and was recently offered a villain role in Thor 2. By choosing Mikkelsen, Fuller opted for an actor who is lesser known than some of the other names in the mix, but is also potentially more interesting. When casting Lecter, it’s crucial to find an actor who can make the part his own and compete with Oscar-winning Anthony Hopkins.

In Fuller’s Hannibal, FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) enlists renowned psychiatrist Dr. Lecter for his assistance solving crimes, not realizing he’s secretly the most monstrous killer of them all. “It’s before he was incarcerated, so he’s more of a peacock,” Fuller says. “There is a cheery disposition to our Hannibal. He’s not being telegraphed as a villain. If the audience didn’t know who he was, they wouldn’t see him coming. What we have is Alfred Hitchcock’s principle of suspense — show the audience the bomb under the table and let them sweat when it’s going to go boom. So the audience knows who Hannibal is so we don’t have to overplay his villainy. We get to subvert his legacy and give the audience twists and turns.”