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TV: “Hannibal” To Continue Ruining His Legacy On Television?

One of two projects that French Studio Gaumont will launch in its initial foray into television will be “Hannibal“. Yes, a TV show about your favorite socially erudite cannibal.

“Hannibal”, Per Variety, “is a 13-episode, one-hour drama series, written by Bryan Fuller (“Heroes”), who exec produces with Martha De Laurentiis (“Hannibal Rising”). Skein centers on the early relationship between Dr. Hannibal Lector and his patient, a young FBI criminal profiler named Will Graham, who is haunted by his ability to empathize with serial killers.

But does anyone really want this? I guess we’ll have to see how everything shakes out. Brian Cox was great as the character in Manhunter and Anthony Hopkins truly defined him (and early 90’s horror) in Silence Of The Lambs. After that? Hannibal was the definition of ill-advised and even though Brett Ratner’s Red Dragon was (surprisingly) actually okay on its own it suffered from being a remake to the superior Manhunter. Then there was that prequel movie starring Crispin Glover’s son that no one saw.*

Could this be good? Maybe if they redefine it somehow. “Friday Night Lights” successfully moved out from under the shadow of the movie that came before it, but that was based more on a concept and feeling than an iconic performance. “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” was great in that it exploited television’s specific narrative allowances to surpass its film version (which wasn’t very good to begin with and certainly hadn’t impacted the cultural consciousness).

I ask of you readers, have there been any truly towering film roles so closely associated with one performance that have made a successful transition to television? Maybe some are out there and I’m not remembering correctly?

*Not true on the “Crispin Glover’s son” bit.

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