Mads Mikkelsen, hot off winning the Best Actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival for The Hunt and scoring the villain role in Thor 2, has been cast as the title character in NBC’s upcoming drama series Hannibal. In his U.S. TV debut, Danish-born Mikkelsen will star opposite Hugh Dancy in the 13-episode series from Gaumont International Television, written and executive produced by Bryan Fuller and executive produced by Martha DeLaurentiis. The project is described as a contemporary thriller featuring the classic characters from Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon — FBI agent Will Graham (Dancy) and his mentor Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mikkelsen) — who are re-introduced at the beginning of their budding relationship. Graham is a gifted criminal profiler on the hunt for a serial killer with the FBI who enlists the help of Dr. Lecter, one of the premier psychiatric minds in the country, with no clue about his darker side. The role was made famous by Anthony Hopkins, who won an Oscar for Silence Of The Lambs.
Mikkelsen, repped by UTA and Denmark’s Art Management, has been on a villainous streak, having also played the bad guy in the James Bond film Casino Royale. Hannibal is executive produced by Fuller, De Laurentis, Sara Colleton, Jesse Alexander and Katie O’Connell. David Slade is directing/executive producing the pilot.