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Dream-Casting 'Hannibal's' Clarice Starling, and 7 Other Season 3 Characters

By Cindy Davis | Lists | October 1, 2014 |

By Cindy Davis | Lists | October 1, 2014 |

After Hannibal’s devastating and glorious second season finale, it’s been increasingly difficult to wait out the series’ hiatus without trying to imagine where showrunner and writer Bryan Fuller will take us next. But take heart, the writers are back in action and as of September 22nd, Season 3 production has begun. The first episode is titled “Antipasto,” and will be directed by Vincenzo Natali (“Su-zakana, Naka-Choko”).

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I’m smack-dab in the middle of my Hannibal reread right now (with Hannibal Rising waiting in the wings), and it’s pretty much impossible not to dream-cast some of the upcoming roles. I’ve had the perfect Clarice stuck in my head for quite some time; in addition, I’ve rounded up actor options — and a David Bowie back-up — in case Fuller’s own dream-casting doesn’t come through:

Rinaldo Pazzi:

Bobby Cannavale

Bobby Cannavale.jpg

Allegra Pazzi:

Carla Gugino


Francis Dolarhyde aka The Tooth Fairy:

Paul Dano


or Eric Stoltz


Lady Murasaki:

Rinko Kikuchi

Rinko Kikuchi.jpg

or Reiko Aylesworth


Robert Lecter Back-up (Fuller Wants David Bowie; So Do We):

Viggo Mortensen


What? If Fuller can dream of Bowie, we can all dream of Viggo. It’s a limited role, and plenty of big names are flocking to television — why not?

Molly Foster Graham: (May not show up until Season 4)

Anna Friel


Paul Krendler:

Walt Goggins


Clarice Starling:

Tricia Helfer


In addition to what we already know, here are a few Season 3 updates:

Filming begins October 20th, the series is expected to return April or May 2015.

Fuller on the cuisine titles: “If we are being honest, we’ll admit that we’ve never been the biggest fan of the show’s food titles. They do not make sense thematically, but it’s really hard when discussing the episodes with your friends to pinpoint a specific event from a specific episode. It’s the same problem that we have with 24. At least with this one, you get something that feels almost like an appetizer, which is appropriate since the story is just starting back. Plus, it gives us a clue that we are going more into Italian cuisine this year after spending last year with a Japanese theme.”

Flashbacks will *not* detail Hannibal’s past, nor will child actors be used. Rather, Fuller will focus on “…finding present day survivors from that era of his life and understanding, with greater detail, about Hannibal and his modes of human interaction…I would be very nervous about casting child actors to portray such iconic characters because it’s always a gamble. For me, I kind of don’t want to imagine anybody else in this incarnation than Mads Mikkelsen.’

Darnit! I had Little Mads all picked out: Oliver Woollford (Utopia)


Hannibal’s backstory will also change a bit from Hannibal Rising. Fuller: “I was a bit frustrated with because there were certain promises that Thomas Harris gave his readers as to who Hannibal was or is and what he’s capable of, and then Hannibal Rising sort of rewrote that in a fashion. So we’re rewriting that again to more align it with those original statements of what kind of creature Hannibal Lecter is in Red Dragon.”

There’ll be fewer meaningless deaths. With a one year time-jump and first half season of the adventures of Hannibal and Bedelia (Gillian Anderson), Hannibal is moving away from the crime-procedural format.

“There are some creative deaths but it’s much more about our regular characters as opposed to a killer of the week coming in and creating these fantastic death tableau. We’re really focusing on the relationships between these characters and the fallout from season 2 for the survivors who made it through the ‘Red Dinner’.

There’s a slight evolution of the series in that way. The first half of the season I’m really excited about because it’s more like an intense psychological thriller.

I’m excited about the rematch between Hannibal and Jack Crawford.”

Fuller also wants to bring his favorite Doctor (who auditioned for Hannibal) to the series. “I’m a huge fan of David Tennant, and we’ve been trying to get him on the show for quite some time. He’s such a spectacular actor. He brings such an effervescence to every performance. I would love to have David on the show. Or just write for David! I would kill and eat somebody to work with David!” (Perhaps Tennant could play Mason Verger’s caretaker, Cordell?)

Finally, Fuller has said he’d love for Chi McBride to play orderly, Barney Matthews — if they’re able to secure the character rights.


Cindy Davis, (Twitter)

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