NBC announced this week that Mads Mikkelsen has been cast as Hannibal Lecter in a television series set prior to Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon, the first in Harris’ Lecter novels. And with that casting news I’m suddenly interested in something I would otherwise dismiss as yet another mediocre attempt to coax magic from the empty hat Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs left behind. Why might Mikkelsen make a difference? Because, for one thing, if you squint he looks just like Viggo Mortensen. For another, he recently won Best Actor at Cannes for his role in Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt. More importantly, he became Nicolas Winding Refn’s (Drive) original silent and stoic badass after the two got their start in movies together in Refn’s Pusher trilogy. Here’s Mikkelsen as a one-eyed Viking in Refn’s Valhalla Rising (gore warning):

I’d rather show you the fight that ends with One Eye disemboweling his captor like he’s turning a bag of apples inside out in one shake, but, well, I’m sensitive to the fact that you might be reading this on your lunch break. That’s why I chose “apples” for that analogy.  According to The Wrap, NBC’s Hannibal series begins filming with Mikkelsen in the lead next month.

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TNB Arts and Culture Editor CYNTHIA HAWKINS teaches creative writing at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Most of what she thinks she knows comes from movies, including how to tango, how to take someone down with a ballpoint pen, how to curse in French, and how to catch a moving train. Her work, on movies and otherwise, has appeared in literary journals and magazines such as ESPN the Magazine, Parent:Wise Magazine, The Good Men Project, New World Writing, Strange Horizons, and numerous alternative weeklies and anthologies. You can find Cynthia on Twitter and at cynthiahawkins.net.

16 responses to “Meet Your New Hannibal”

  1. pixy says:

    this choice defo makes me want to watch. he’s awesome and delicious. : )

  2. Steven says:

    Can this possibly work on television?

  3. Phat B says:

    I love Danish film and TV. Scandinavia has been killing it as of late. Stoic badass is a good description. They make what I consider to be the modern day western. Hard ass people living in hard ass times in a hard ass land. Few words, many facial expressions. That stuff just butters my bread. Pusher trilogy owns. Just wish HBO picked this up. NBC tends to cut shows after a few episodes, especially if they are good.

    • I would have more faith in it if it had been picked up by HBO, but I think the networks have been trying for years to land something that puts them on par with HBO, series-wise. Maybe this could do it? I don’t know. Maybe not.

    • Erika Rae says:

      Logged in wrong last time – oops!

      Let’s try that again. *ahem*


      Hooray for Danish TV AND for Mads! Here’s a little article I wrote for TNB in 2008. I see the graphics no longer work (except at the very end…why? I don’t know.) Boo! But basically it’s about how my dog looks like him. I have to admit, I was a bit proud. So Mads as Hannibal? Well yes! He’s got the beast in him. Ha!

      Oh – here’s a better link for pics of the dog. I swear she’s Mads n a fur coat.

      • Phat B says:

        Hmmm, he does look rather stoic. Perhaps have Nicolas Winding Refn over for coffee? If Aspen takes a liking to him, then it’s a match. She could be Mads’ spirit animal.

        • Erika Rae says:

          I think you’re onto something with the “stoic” description, PhatB. Aspen passed on to the Great Beyond last December, so I like to think of her going back and forth between watching over us in a protective capacity and then jaunting over to Denmark every now and then to hover around Mads and perhaps take care of the more dirty matters. She was such a badlass. *skol*

      • Aw, she’s adorable! Lazy eye and stalker tendencies and all. Also, is that link the magic portal to old TNB or what!? Is that what it used to look like?

        • Erika Rae says:

          OH yes, Cynthia. Look how far TNB has come! Crazy isn’t it? It amazes me that stuff is still up there. That was back in the day when there were what…30-40 writers on there. I was even late to THAT party. Before me it was just Brad, Reno, JMB (we called him “11:59” back then), Lenore Zion, Lance Reynald, Jennifer Duffield White, Kaytie Lee, Nick Belardes, and a handful of others. But the link to the portal I sent you, it was still pretty streamlined. It was Slade Ham, Megan DiLullo, Richard Cox, Kimberly Wetherell, Tyler Stoddard Smith, Duke Haney, Irene Zion, Ben Loory, David S Wills, James Irwin, Brin Jonathan Butler, Elizabeth Collins, Gina Frangello…quite a few more of us had come to play, but comparatively (to now), so much smaller. Wow. Where are my menthols? I need my menthols and my walker.

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