Hannibal Lecter, TV Star?

Anthony Hopkins as the Famous Fictional Serial Killer
Anthony Hopkins as the Famous Fictional Serial Killer

Ever find yourself wondering, “Where could I possibly get more of that homicidal mad man I love, Hannibal Lecter?” I know I do.  Good news for all the fans of Thomas Harris’s most famous serial killer. Hannibal is coming to the small screen.

The genius-turned cannibalistic serial killer is making his way to TV in a new series. The NBC network recently ordered a half season (13 episodes) of the show that features the young Dr. Lecter in the height of his career, be it psychologist or serial killer, pick your poison. The show is going to focus on Lecter’s rise and the killer’s pursuer, FBI Agent Will Graham. In case you don’t remember your Harris, Graham, not Starling, was the agent that put Lecter behind bars. However the good doctor and his protégée, The Tooth Fairy, eventually mentally broke him.

The two main questions I have for NBC are: 1) who on earth do you bribe convince to take up the mantle of Hannibal Lecter in order to fill the not-too-small shoes of Anthony Hopkins, and 2) how on earth on you going to maintain the kind of suspense that Harris managed in the original trilogy?

Your thoughts on the idea of Hannibal the TV Show?


  1. Carmen Pinzon

    If they work it in a way like Dexter, where we see a new victim every week(?), season(?) and we also get to see the police getting closer and closer, it might be interesting. I just can’t imagine how they can make the FBI’s part of the equation less than frustrating.

  2. Christopher Morgan

    The only problem there is that in Dexter you have police that start off as inept. That’s why Dexter is able to do what he does. Graham is supposed to be able to go toe to toe with Lecter, with Lecter being just smart enough to be apart of the investigations as a consultant and fooling the FBI.

    That is a good point though. This could be a way for a network to bring a Dexter-esq show to the non-premium masses.

  3. Mary Saputo

    Sorry, but didn’t watch Dexter after the first few shows and won’t watch this one. The idea of a serial killer as my “hero” is beyond all good taste.

  4. Christopher Morgan

    In all honesty Bitsy, I don’t see how you can redeem Dr. Lecter. It’s one of the reasons that Harris turned me off of the character in Hannibal Rising and to a lesser degree in Hannibal. He went too far in humanizing the monster that Lecter is and trying to explain away the crazy. I simply can not stand people that humanize my bad guys.

    The parts I REALLY like in Dexter are those few glmipses the audience gets that shows that this guy isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, that he is legitmately crazy and psychotic.

  5. Robin @ crimetimepreview

    I watch Dexter, but the flaw in it that nags away is that he has redeeming features and is perhaps being humanised by his double life. But while with Dexter I can swallow my disbelief, I agree that making Hannibal the ‘hero’ of a series is too much of a stretch.

    My other slight objection is that Lector has given birth to the crime genre’s total obsession with genius serial killers with absurdly elaborate MOs. Most of them are really just sad loners who kill opportunistically.

  6. Helen Rigs

    I find the thought of a serial killer as “hero” to be disgusting. There is nothing heroic about someone who is willing to rape, torture, and murder someone for kicks. Shame on NBC for jumping on the “Dexter” bandwagon — don’t they have an original idea at NBC?

  7. bitsy08

    When NBC gets an original idea, they cancel it.

  8. Kanine Klub

    Why is it you think Hannibal is gonna be portrayed as the hero. If anything, this show will be the one out of everything that will show the dark side of the doctor. In the rest, you see him with Clarice, only killing those who even the viewers don’t like. Or someone who he views as harming clarice. The cops he killed, that was necessary for him to escape, he had to. Yes that’s wrong, but it served a purpose, it wasn’t for kicks.
    Now we will see him committing his crimes, killing innocents. We’ll see the cops pursue him as he tries to play a game he will ultimately lose. That will be what draws us in. Will Graham will be the hero. Hannibal is the bad guy, no doubt. He just happens to be a villain you find yourself rooting for, because of how the character has been portrayed, both in the book and because of Anthony Hopkins. But seeing him butcher someone and cook them, that will help to deromantacize him, just a bit

  9. Christopher Morgan

    Sorry, I’m using hero in the same way as protagonist, which he was in Hannible and the not so great Hannible Rising. The thing is the books never really portrayed him as someone that was a psychotic killer. There was always method to his madness. If I remember the books correctly. Lecter always had a reason for his killings.

    At this point I don’t think you can deromanticize him. People love their Anthony Hopkins Hannible, the impossible to catch serial killer that charms the audience, and pretty FBI agent, with a smile while eating and viciously disfiguring child rapist, which was the only victim that Lecter ever left alive.

    I hope they show how crazy someone that eats people for imagined slights is. But as the series progressed, I feel like Harriosn tried ever harder to humanize the cannible what with watching his sister get eaten by communists or saving the woman he loves from an attempted rape.


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