Monday, 12 September 2011

Grab your chianti, Hannibal Lecter's coming to TV

Monday, 12 September 2011
Writer-producer Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies) is developing a television drama based on the character Hannibal Lecter, created by author Thomas Harris. Lecter has appeared in four Harris novels (Red Dragon, The Silence Of The Lambs, Hannibal, Hannibal Rising), which were all adapted for the big-screen. Brian Cox played the role in Michael Mann's Manhunter, before Anthony Hopkins turned the character into a pop-culture icon in Jonathan Demme's Oscar-winning thriller The Silence Of The Lambs. Hopkins later returned for a sequel and prequel/remake.

The TV series will apparently focus on the early relationship between Dr Hannibal Lecter, when he was the psychiatrist for FBI Agent Will Graham (CSI's William Petersen in Manhunter, Edward Norton in the remake Red Dragon) who secretly killed and ate his own victims.

The drama is being produced by French company Gaumont, who now have an independent Los Angeles studio (Gaumont International Television) run by former-NBC head Katie O'Connell. Martha De Laurentiis is producing, having also produced the latter three Lecter movies.

What do you make of this unexpected news? Does we really need another Hannibal Lecter story? Is it doomed to failure without Hopkins in the role, which was surely one reason for Hannibal Rising flopping. (That and the fact it was an outright stinker.) Or are you excited by the possibilities of returning to this character in his prime, provided they find a way to keep the story flowing nicely? Could this actually be the new Dexter? Is Bryan Fuller the man for the job, seeing as he's best-known for putting a quirky and upbeat slant on death in Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies? Does he have a dark enough soul to do justice to Thomas Harris' prose? Is this show going to be Silence Of The Lambs-style scary, or Hannibal-style grand guignol?