In surprise news, actor Michael Pitt (Funny Games, Boardwalk Empire) had decided not to return as serial killer Mason Verger for the third season of NBC's HANNIBAL. One presumes the actor didn't find spending hours in the makeup trailer very appealing, but it makes you wonder what he thought the longterm future of playing this character would be. Didn't he read the book or see the movie? Or maybe he just wasn't as interested in how the character was being written? Or what the future storyline was for Verger?
Whatever the reason for Pitt's departure, the role has been recast. Joe Anderson (The Divide, The River) will step into Pitt's shoes as the meat-packing magnate who—SPOILER ALERT!—we last saw carving strips off his own face to feed to a pack of dogs, while under the influence of mind-altering drugs.
The fact season 3's Mason Verger will be unrecognisable to Pitt as a byproduct of his injuries should help viewers acclimatise to the change, but it remains to be seen if Anderson will choose to mimic Pitt's nutty performance, or go for something more serious.
What we do know, thanks to Anderson's own Instagram account, is what season 3 Verger will look like:
Looks very faithful to the makeup Gary Oldman wore for the Ridley Scott movie, no?
In related news, it's been revealed Hannibal will also introduce a recurring henchman character called Cordell, the "quiet, very intelligent and definitely creepy" personal doctor to the facially-disfigured Mason.