No word on which actor will make that "thp-thp-thp-thp" sound after talking about eating some dude's liver.
[Update: In an earlier version of this post, Zachary Quinto was named as the leading contender for this role. This was a misreading of the original article on the part of this writer and it has been corrected in the article.]
If you'd asked five, maybe six years ago about the plausibility or even the wisdom of an hour-long weekly drama about psychologist/epicurean/brain eater Hannibal Lecter, I would have rolled my eyes and laughed at the idea as something that seemed like an act of desperation on any network's part. Then, Showtime went and made forensic pathologist/serial killer-killer Dexter Morgan a ratings success for their own network, so what do I know?
Anyway, NBC has announced that they'd like to be in the Dr. Lecter business, developing a series centered on the role made famous by Thomas Harris's novels and Sir Anthony Hopkins' performance in one great film, one interesting but over-the-top film, and one movie directed by Brett Ratner where Ralph Fiennes hilariously eats an entire painting. MGM attempted to get a new franchise going with the character a few years back with little success in Hannibal Rising, an extended origin story that didn't do much for anyone involved. So the character could do for a win.
Presumably, the focus here would be on Lecter's time as a shrink? In recent years, I've really been coming around to his work, and I'm hoping he nails the balance of charm and menace that's so essential to the character. The trick, I think, with Hannibal, is that he's incredibly personable, brilliant, and insightful, but with the flip of a switch can become a monster.
We'll bring you more news about this upcoming series as it develops.