Out of all the shows to debut this spring, none was as controversial as the newest take on the classiest of all cannibals, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. With Parent’s groups up-in-arms about the show’s shocking gore content and the analyst-baffling low ratings, NBC’s Hannibal has garnered much critical acclaim, especially for its eclectic and talented cast, headed by Valhalla Rising’s Mads Mikkelsen and featuring Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne, Caroline Dhavernas, Scott Thompson and Hettienne Park. However, that cast may get a little more diverse and much more eerie with the possible addition of none other than Labyrinth actor and rock icon David Bowie.
As viewers already know, the show explores the early relationship between Hannibal Lecter and FBI Criminal Profiler, Will Graham, previous to the Manhunter novel. Having just completed its First Season and been greenlit for a Second, NBC is looking for some high-profile guest stars to come on, much akin to the appearance of Lance Henriksen, Gillian Anderson, and Eddie Izzard on the most recent season. According to E! News, creator Bryan Fuller has offered Bowie the recurring role of Hannibal’s Uncle, Count Robert Lecter. In the prequel novel, Hannibal Rising, the character of Robert adopts a 16-year-old Hannibal, fashioning his manners and etiquette before being killed by the Nazis, but Fuller told E!, “Since our timeline is a little more present, there’s a little bit of J.J. Abrams-style alternate universe storytelling where he could still be alive.” Fuller has stated, “We have reached out to David Bowie to see if he’s interested and available”. Bowie has not been object to television work, having previously worked on Spongebob Squarepants, Extras, The Hunger as well as joining the film prequel to Twin Peaks, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Unfortunately, Fuller and company have yet to receive an answer from Bowie, but they remain optimistic.
Audiences were first introduced to the suave, sophisticated psychiatrist with a taste for human flesh in Thomas Harris’ book, Red Dragon. It spawned a film in 1986, Manhunter, featuring Brian Cox as Hannibal Lecter. In 1988, Harris wrote a sequel, Silence of the Lambs, which itself was turned into a highly successful feature film in 1991. It starred Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins as Lecter, for which he won an Oscar for his performance. Another book and sequel film were made, Hannibal saw Hopkins return to the role that defined him ten years later. The success of these films prompted another “stab” (pun intended) at Red Dragon. The film starred Hopkins, yet again in the role of Lecter and unlike its predecessor, kept the book’s title, whilst adding Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes and Phillip Seymour Hoffman into the series. Flash forward a few years through a mediocre prequel film/book, Hannibal Rising, with Gaspard Ulliel in the title role, exploring Lecter’s childhood/early years and we have the newest, modern iteration of the character on NBC. The pilot for Hannibal was incredibly high profile, as 30 Days of Night director David Slade chose the pilot over a reboot of the popular Marvel hero, Daredevil, for 20th Century Fox.
Hannibal will return to NBC in 2014. For more on Season Two and the possible involvement of David Bowie, check back to DiaboliqueMagazine.com or follow us on Twitter (@DiaboliqueMag).
– By Robert Vaughn
Robert Vaughn is a graduate of Montclair State University, NJ, with a B.F.A. in Filmmaking. Throughout his time in the program, he worked on various aspects of pre, pro and post-production. Writing has always been a favorite of his and he feels this “favoritism” shows in his work. Various professors, students, directors and actors have praised his writing ability. On top of writing for Diabolique, he has written for TV, written/co-written feature films for So Real? Entertainment and is currently working on a feature length dark comedy script of his own. Follow him on twitter: @rvaughn881