Crack open the Chianti! Another talented actor, Laurence Fishburne, has been added to the cast of Hannibal, the upcoming TV series that adapts Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter novels for the small screen.
Fishburne, who is no stranger to TV drama after having spent a couple of seasons on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, will play the role of Jack Crawford, the head of the FBI Behavioural Sciences Unit and boss of the series protagonist Will Graham (Hugh Dancy).
The Crawford character has previously appeared on-screen played by Scott Glen in The Silence of The Lambs, Harvey Keitel in Red Dragon and Dennis Farina in Manhunter. Crawford didn’t get a chance for much character development in these incarnations but this is something that will likely be remedied in the TV series and Fishburne can certainly bring acting clout to the role.
The series is being developed by Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller, who said regarding the casting of Fishburne,
“Laurence Fishburne is an iconic man who has been making his cinematic mark since ‘Apocalypse Now’ and it’s a thrill not only to work with him but to see such a brilliant, sophisticated actor step into the shoes of Thomas Harris’ brilliant, sophisticated character. I cannot imagine a better cast for ‘Hannibal’ than the one we’ve assembled.”
Fishburne will be joining Mads Mikkelsen, who will be playing everyone’s favorite cannibal, the titular Hannibal Lecter. The first season will be set before Lecter’s incarceration and shed light on his life as a respected psychiatrist and his relationship with Will Graham.
The pre-prison adult Lecter is something that has not been explored on the big screen, other than briefly in the opening to Red Dragon, and will certainly be compelling television with the foreknowledge of what he is to become.
30 Days of Night director David Slade is an executive producer on the show and will be directing the pilot, which is expected to premiere on NBC as a midseason replacement.
Are you looking forward to the show or do you think Lecter is best confined to the big screen? Let us know in the comments.