That crazy cannibal, Hannibal Lecter, is pulling out his knife and fork in preparation for serving up more sweet meats, but this time he’ll be satisfying his cravings on network television as NBC gives him a new home.
It’s not a guarantee yet but NBC has offered a 13-episode commitment to producer and writer Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies) if he can show them a script that suitably impresses the network hotshots. If the script is approved, then Fuller proceeds straight to the series, without having to wait for a pilot to get the greenlight.
According to Deadline, the potential series will cover Lecter’s early days, with the focus being Lecter’s cat-and-mouse game with the FBI and Agent Will Graham, where Hannibal appeared to be helping the Agency catch a serial killer but he was secretly having fun with them because he was the killer. Movie-goers got to see how that little game ended in Red Dragon, where Edward Norton played Graham and Anthony Hopkins played Lecter.
As much as I loved Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon, I’m not sure a Hannibal Lecter TV series will do the trick. First, it’s safe to assume that Anthony Hopkins will not be starring as Lecter and it’s going to be hard to find someone that can pull off that menacing charm. Well, actually there is a guy like that in Hollywood, but he’s already playing the lead in Dexter, which brings me to my second reason to not be thrilled with a Hannibal Lecter series. Dexter is on a cable network for a reason, and Hannibal should be heading to Showtime, HBO, or AMC if he wants a chance to really show his stuff. I mean, come on. NBC??? Somehow, I don’t see Lecter having the freedom to artistically express himself the same way he did on the big screen.
There’s one more nail to drive in the coffin, in my opinion. We know how it ends. Lecter manages to play the game for a while, then Graham stumbles across his dirty little secret and Lecter tries to gut him. After that, he gets locked up, helps Graham with a case in Red Dragon and steals the show in Silence of the Lambs. Where’s the suspense in that? I guess things could be livened up if Hannibal actually helped catch a few killers and it would be really awesome if he punished those killers in his own unique style. Oh wait… there’s already a guy that does that.
Sorry, Hannibal. I think Dexter stole your thunder.