NBC’s new drama Hannibal has been given a premiere date, April 4, Thursday 10 PM. Between now and April 4, NBC will air Law & Order: SVU repeats in the hour. Hannibal, from Bryan Fuller, Martha DeLaurentiis and Gaumont International TV, stars Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy. The project is described as a contemporary thriller featuring the classic characters from Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon – FBI agent Will Graham (Dancy) and his mentor Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mikkelsen) — who are re-introduced at the beginning of their budding relationship.
News via The Hollywood Reporter: A&E is checking in to the Bates Motel. The cable network has opted to bypass the traditional pilot stage and order its Psycho prequel Bates Motel straight to series aimed at a 2013 premiere.
From Lost‘s Carlton Cuse and Friday Night Lights‘ Kerry Ehrin, the series is inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho and is described as a contemporary exploration of Norman Bates’ formative years. It will explore his relationship with his mother, Norma, and offer a look at the backstory that helped forge the infamous serial killer. It’s been dubbed as a cross between Twin Peaks and Smallville.
The series, which will begin preproduction and casting immediately, is scheduled for a 2013 premiere on A&E. Cuse and Ehrin will executive produce the Universal Television and Carlton Cuse Productions effort. Anthony Cipriano penned the pilot script.
“We are proud to be partnering with Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin on their thrilling reinvention of one of the most compelling characters in cinematic history,” A&E president and GM Bob DeBitetto and A&E exec vp programming Dave McKillop said in a joint statement announcing the news Monday. “It’s a provocative project from two of the best storytellers in the business, and we’re looking forward to getting started.”
Bates Motel marks former Lost co-showrunner Cuse’s first TV project since his run on the island-set ABC drama.
The A&E effort is not the first time a Psycho spinoff has been attempted; NBC aired a 90-minute TV movie titled Bates Motel in 1987. The A&E series also marks the latest serial-killer prequel story, joining NBC’s Silence of the Lambs prequel series, Hannibal, which hails from Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller.
Serial killer prequels and Hitchcock history are both subjects that are currently being explored at other places too. There’s Hannibal, Bryan Fuller’s Silence of the Lambs prequel TV show that is currently in development, for one. Also shooting are Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, Fox Searchlight’s behind the scenes drama starring Anthony Hopkins, and The Girl, which features Toby Jones as the famed thriller director.
Mads Mikkelsen, has been cast as Hannibal ‘The Cannibal’ Lecter in NBC’s upcoming drama series Hannibal. In his U.S. TV debut, Danish-born Mikkelsen will star opposite Hugh Dancy in the 13-episode series from Gaumont International Television, written and executive produced by Bryan Fuller and executive produced by Martha DeLaurentiis. Will Graham (Dancy) and his mentor Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mikkelsen) are introduced at the beginning of their budding relationship. Graham is a gifted criminal profiler on the hunt for a serial killer with the FBI who enlists the help of Dr. Lecter, one of the premier psychiatric minds in the country, with no clue about his darker side.
Mikkelsen, most well known for playing Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, is hot after winning the Best Actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival for The Hunt and scoring the villain role in the sequel to Thor, at this stage imaginatively called Thor 2.
NBC’s new take on serial killer Hannibal Lecter is shaping up to be quite an interesting (and series-TV-friendly) departure from films like Silence of the Lambs. Reported by socialpsychol HERE in November 2011.
Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daises, Heroes) is taking five pages of backstory about the infamous cannibal psychiatrist from Thomas Harris’ book Red Dragon and using it as the basis for the first couple seasons of his planned drama.
Hannibal, which has received a 13-episode series order, features Lecter solving crimes with empathic FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). For the first time, viewers will spend quality time with Lecter while he’s at large and before the world knows his secrets, working side by side with a similarly brilliant man who is destined to catch him.
“It’s before he was incarcerated, so he’s more of a peacock,” Fuller tells EW.com. “There is a cheery disposition to our Hannibal. He’s not being telegraphed as a villain. If the audience didn’t know who he was, they wouldn’t see him coming. What we have is Alfred Hitchcock’s principle of suspense — show the audience the bomb under the table and let them sweat when it’s going to go boom. So the audience knows who Hannibal is so we don’t have to overplay his villainy. We get to subvert his legacy and give the audience twists and turns.”
“It really is a love story, for lack of a better description, between these two characters,” Fuller says. “As Hannibal has said [to Graham] in a couple of the movies, ‘You’re a lot more like me than you realize.’ We’ll get to the bottom of exactly what that means over the course of the first two seasons. But we’re taking our sweet precious time.”
“Doing a cable model on network television gives us the opportunity not to dally in our storytelling because we have a lot of real estate to cover,” Fuller says. “I pitched a seven-season arc including stories from various [Thomas Harris] books.”
The show will include familiar characters from Harris’ novels, though he’s “Starbucking” the genders of a couple of them. FBI boss Jack Crawford will remain male, but Dr. Alan Bloom is becoming Dr. Alana Bloom, and tabloid journalist Freddy Lounds is becoming tabloid blogger Fredricka Lounds.
Between Hannibal and Fuller’s Munsters reboot pilot Mockingbird Lane, the writer certainly has his hands full. Still, there’s one other TV series idea that we’re all hoping eventually gets off the ground — the return of Star Trek.
Fuller has previously spoken to director-producer Bryan Singer about teaming to reboot the TV franchise, though any movement depends on rights-holder Paramount and Trek’s current creative kingpin, J.J. Abrams (who, of course, knows a thing or two about making TV shows too). The consensus has been that there is unlikely to be a Trek TV show while the current movie franchise is still regularly hitting theaters.
“Bryan and I are big fans of Trek and have discussed a take on what we would do, and we would love to do it,” Fuller says. “I don’t think anything is going to happen in any official capacity until after the next movie comes out. And I’m sure it would be wisely under J.J. Abrams’ purview of what happens. He’s the guardian of Trek right now.”
NBC is giving the classic vampire tale of Count Dracula a contemporary spin. The network has teamed with producers Tony Krantz and Colin Callender and writer Cole Haddon for a Dracula series eyed for both the U.S. and international marketplace. The project, developed for NBC and NBCU’s international channels, has a “script-to-series” commitment, meaning that it won’t go through a pilot stage but straight to series if NBC brass like the script, which is currently being written by Haddon. Set in the 1890s, it is described as “Dangerous Liaisons meets The Tudors” and as a big, sweeping international soap opera that is young, sexy and supernatural. Frequent collaborators Krantz and Callender are executive producing, with Flame’s Reece Pearson co-executive producing.
In the deal for Dracula, NBC employed the same model it is using for another drama project about an iconic villain, Hannibal. That project, written by Bryan Fuller and produced by Gaumont International Television, also has a commitment for a script against 13-episode order. Both shows have pre-sold titles, along with Fuller’s Munsters reboot, which was recently picked up to pilot by NBC. Vampires have been hot on the big and the small screen lately with the blockbuster Twilight movie franchise and hit series True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. In addition to Dracula, TV producer/feature director Kratz and former HBO executive-turned-producer Callender have another drama project at NBC and Universal TV, The Fixer, based on the life of top New York attorney Edward Hayes.
Cole Haddon has experience with rebooting classic dark characters. His feature script Hyde, about an allegedly rehabilitated Dr. Jekyll, landed on the 2010 Black List. The project is being developed by Dark Horse Entertainment, Mark Gordon Prods. and Skydance Prods.
Bryan Fuller may have two series on NBC; the man behing ‘Pushing Daisies’ is behind two high-profile projects, The Munsters and Hannibal, both of them on a script-to-series track. Fuller originally developed a reboot of the 1960s comedy series The Munsters last season and his was one of very few scripts new NBC chief Bob Greenblatt kept in play when he took over the network in January. Greenblatt rolled the project to get it redeveloped by his team. Fuller’s new outline submitted in September was received well (it was the talk of NBC’s pre-Emmy party), and his draft was just delivered last Friday.
Word is that NBC, which may pull the trigger on a series order as early as this week, envisions the new Munsters as a potential summer or event series. Like Fuller’s previous series, Pushing Daisies, the project features striking visuals mixed with all the classic Munsters archetypes. Grandpa Sam Dracula is essentially Dracula who assembled Herman because no man was good enought for his daughter Lily, a sexy vamp. Lily’s niece Marilyn the freak is actually normal and Lily and Herman’s only child, Eddie, has his werewolf tendencies surface in puberty, forcing the family to relocate to their famous 1313 Mockingbird Lane address.
Separately, Fuller is writing Hannibal, a drama series for Gaumont International Television and producer Martha De Laurentiis, which NBC just bought preemptively. Fuller is writing the script about based on the iconic literary and film character Hannibal Lecter against a 13-episode commitment, meaning that the script will trigger a 13-episode series if NBC likes it. (NBC has a short window to decide upon receiving the draft, with a potential release triggering a penalty.) I hear the network first got interested in the project when Fuller mentioned it casually to the network’s new entertainment president Jennifer Salke over drinks. A well-known foodie as evidenced by Pushing Daisies, apparently Fuller was attracted to the dark, sick side of Hannibal, who tends to feast on his victims.