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OTRC: Mads Mikkelsen cast to play Hannibal Lecter in NBC series 'Hannibal'

Mads Mikkelsen appears in a still from the 2006 film, 'After The Wedding.' / Anthony Hopkins appears in a still from the 2002 film, 'Red Dragon.' (IFC Films / Universal Studios)

NBC has cast Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter in their upcoming TV series, "Hannibal."

The Dutch actor, who is best known for portraying James Bond villain Le Chiffre in the 2006 film, "Casino Royale," will make his American TV debut in the drama series opposite Hugh Dancy, who signed on to play Special Agent Will Graham, according to Deadline.

The series is based on Thomas Harris' novel "Red Dragon" and follows FBI Agent Will Graham (Dancy), who enlists renowned psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lector for his assistant in solving crimes, not realizing Lector is secretly a monstrous killer himself.

The role was made famous by Anthony Hopkins, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Lecter in the 1991 film, "Silence of the Lambs" and reprised the role in "Hannibal" in 2001 and "Red Dragon" in 2002.

"It's before he was incarcerated, so he's more of a peacock," Writer and Producer Bryan Fuller told Entertainment Weekly of the role. "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."

Mikkelsen recently made headlines after being cast as the villain in the upcoming Marvel sequel, "Thor 2," which also stars Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman. He was also honored with the Best Actor Award at last month's Cannes Film Festival, for his role in "The Hunt."

Aside from "Casino Royale," Mikkelsen has appeared in films like "Adam's Apples," "After the Wedding," "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky," "Clash of the Titans" and "The Three Musketeers."

"Hannibal" received a 13-episode order from NBC and is expected to premiere sometime next season.

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