Yeah, I said it.
Mads Mikkelsen is the latest actor to poetry Hannibal Lecter, in Hannibal (2013-2015), but he certainly isn’t the first. The first, which a lot of people forget, was Brian Cox in Manhunter. Manhunter also featured Will Graham (William Peterson), played wonderfully by Hugh Dancy in Hannibal (2013-2015).
The most remembered and critically acclaimed Hannibal Lecter movie, however, is Silence of the Lambs. That film saw Anthony Hopkins take on the role, with a lot of people still seeing him as the true Hannibal Lecter. Hopkins won the Best Actor Oscar, with the film also winning Best Picture, Best Actress (Jodie Foster), Best Director (Jonathan Demme, and Best Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally).
Anthony Hopkins went on to play the role two more times in Red Dragon and Hannibal (2001). Gaspard Ulliel played the character in Hannibal Rising, but no one really likes to talk about that.
April 2013 rolls around, and Hannibal is about to premiere. I’m curious, but the show just looked like your better than average police procedural, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Hannibal goes from good-great in the first season.
Season 2 just further proves how well crafted the show is, with every episode seamlessly flowing together like a long movie. The season 2 finale is one of the most emotional draining hours of TV i’ve ever watched.
Season 3 started out a little too stylistic, but I liked what the season was going for. The second half of season 3 is so perfect that it makes the season one of the best for any TV show, delivering an incredibly satisfying series finale.
One of the many reasons of why this show works so well is Mads Mikkelsen’s potrayl of Hannibal Lecter. He completely fulfills the embodiment of what Lecter is written as, evil yet enduring. Every different aspect of his Lecter blends together so well. His voice is so commanding too. They could probably give him the worst dialogue (not that they do) and he’ll make it work. Mikkelsen and Dancy’s chemistry too make them one of TV’s best duos.
What’s so impressive about Hannibal is how much an underdog the show was. No one really expected anything out of it, but the show is now preferred to as one of the best modern TV dramas. The definitive adaption of Lecter is Hopkins “Silence of the Lambs,” according to a lot of people. A lot of people still think that too, which is cool. Hopkins worked great for what his Lecter needed to be, and Mikkelsen for his.