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.