NBC’s “Hannibal,” focusing on author Thomas Harris’ storied cannibalistic villain Dr. Hannibal Lecter from his book series starting with 1981’s Red Dragon, is one of the most interesting and intricately constructed TV shows on the air today. Last season, the series moved ever closer to a more normalized state of affairs between characters Will Graham (played by Hugh Dancy), Jack Crawford (played by Laurence Fishburne), and of course, Lecter himself (played by Mads Mikkelsen). One of the most memorable characters of season two was Mason Verger, a wealthy and sadistic pedophile who incurs a fascination with Dr. Lecter, which morphs into a bitter rivalry after Lecter “causes” Verger heavily disfigure himself.
Verger, who was played on film by Gary Oldman in 2001’s Hannibal feature film directed by Ridley Scott, was played on the show by actor Michael Pitt. Pitt’s performance was largely praised by fans and critics alike, bringing a fiendishly nuanced performance to the table, and filling out one of the most interesting uber-villainous roles on TV. I say uber-villainous because, if you’re potentially more evil than Hannibal Lecter, then you’re a pretty bad guy.
Recently, news hit the internet that Pitt would be replaced in his role as Verger in the show’s upcoming third season. According to TV Line, Pitt’s recasting was a decision that the actor made himself, as he chose not to return to the role in the show’s next season. In his place will be actor Joe Anderson, largely known to audiences for his roles in films like Across the Universe, The Ruins, and The Crazies, as well as the short-lived legal drama series “The Divide.” Anderson has been taking to Instagram to post some interesting pictures from the show’s set, including a since-deleted picture of the actor in full makeup (as captured by Variety):
Anderson also took a couple of other fun and interesting behind-the-scenes photos, which you can find on his Instagram account. Season 3 of “Hannibal” is scheduled to begin airing on NBC in early 2015.
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