David Tennant Was Almost NBC’s Hannibal

David Tennant Doctor Who

David Tennant Doctor Who

When I think of the character that is Hannibal Lecter, the face of Anthony Hopkins is what immediately springs to mind. After all, the veteran actor portrayed the icon for three films, and even won an Academy Award for his performance in 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs. To me, that was the best of the lot, but I’m not one to shy away from the two that followed.

Of course, there have been other men who’ve had their turns such as Brian Cox and Gaspard Ulliel, but it could be said that Mads Mikkelsen resonates most with contemporary audiences due to his unforgettable performances delivered during the three-season run of the aptly titled Hannibal.

But, as is the case with any creative endeavor over in Hollywood, the search is on whenever a key role is to be filled. So, quite naturally, the creative minds behind this show had a few talents under the microscope when putting it together.


In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, David Tennant (Doctor Who) was heard to speak about how he feels “there is something delicious about playing people that go to really dark corners of the human experience.” And with that, he reminisced about meeting with Hannibal executive producer Bryan Fuller regarding the titular character:

“I met Bryan Fuller a couple of times, and we talked about it. But I think they quite wisely chose Mads Mikkelsen, I think he was a perfect choice for it, and I think he did things with that character that I wouldn’t have managed, so I think the right man got the job.”

Even though Tennant didn’t get the lead in Hannibal, he eventually did land on his feet by claiming Jessica Jones‘ Kilgrave as his own, so we’d say he made out nicely in the end. Still, we’re sure many reading this will ponder what might have been.