After wrapping up work on the Hobbit trilogy, Richard Armitage's next project is a major departure from the sprawling drama of Middle Earth. He'll be moving to the small screen, taking a role on NBC's "Hannibal" -- and playing a psychotic killer who is known as "the Tooth Fairy." Not because he flies around on pretty pink wings exchanging cash for kiddie teeth, but because he creeps into people's bedrooms at night and bites them until they are dead.
According to TVLine, Armitage will be joining the show's third season as the Tooth Fairy, whose real name is Francis Dolarhyde. Dolarhyde is a central character in the Thomas Harris novel "Red Dragon," one of the books on which "Hannibal" is based, and Armitage's appearance will reportedly span six episodes.
"Hannibal" is currently filming its third season, after a shocking finale that left the fates of two major characters unclear, and which saw its titular villain fleeing to Europe (first-class, of course.) The show has promised to return in 2015, although no date has been announced yet.
After seeing him foreshortened and wearing a fake dwarf nose for three years' worth of Hobbit movies, it'll be nice to see Richard Armitage's unfettered face in his new role -- and he'll still be able to channel plenty of Thorin Oakenshield-style intensity as the sadistic, delusional Dolarhyde. However, depending upon how true the series stays to its source material, it might be, um, better if he doesn't smile.