In the off chance there aren’t enough serial killer shows competing for your free time on television these days, NBC is readying a TV adaptation based around author Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter.
Hannibal, who was previously played in three films by Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon), as well as Brian Cox (Manhunter) and Gaspard Ulliel (Hannibal Rising), will star Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale).
It debuts April 4 at 10 p.m. on NBC.
The series will serve as a prequel of sorts to Red Dragon – the first book in Harris’ original trilogy. The show – which creator Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me) envisions running seven seasons – starts off with Lecter helping FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) solve serial murders.
“It’s before he was incarcerated, so he’s more of a peacock,” Fuller told EW.com. “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.”
The show will run for 13-episode seasons – mirroring the shorter runs of episodic shows that air on HBO and Showtime.
Hopkins won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the cannibalistic serial killer in 1991′s The Silence of the Lambs. He then went on to reprise the character in the 2001 sequel, Hannibal, and the 2002 prequel, Red Dragon.
Ulliel played a younger version of the character in 2007′s much-maligned, Hannibal Rising.
Lecter was also played by Brian Cox in Michael Mann’s Manhunter, an adaptation of Red Dragon that was released in 1986.
So, it appears Mikkelsen has a lot to live up to when it comes to giving audiences a fresh take on filmdom’s favourite cannibal.
The show also stars Laurence Fishburne and will feature guest spots from Eddie Izzard and Gillian Anderson.
Watch the trailer below and let us know what you think of the proposed series. Is the Lecter character played out? Should there have been a sequel to Harris’ Hannibal (which left the character on the run)? Most of all, can Lecter compete with The Following’s Joe Carroll and Dexter Morgan?
Sound off below.