Another day and another casting announcement for Bryan Fuller's Hannibal series has been announced. At the moment, Fuller's re-imagining of Thomas Harris' most famous character boasts one of the more impressive casts for a television series in quite a while. Now, Fuller is adding a new name to the ensemble by bringing his former Wonderfalls star, Caroline Dhavernas, into the fray.
Dhavernas will reportedly be taking on the part of Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) protégé Dr. Alana "Al" Bloom. Though Dr. Bloom studied under Lecter, she now teaches psychology at Georgetown University, while acting as an FBI consultant and criminal profiler – a moonlighting gig that affords her the opportunity to introduce Lecter to Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), and effectively set into motion the course of events that will see Hannibal Lecter make the acquaintance of Will Graham (Hugh Dancy).
In addition to headlining the critically acclaimed Wonderfalls, Dhavernas was recently seen in the more mercifully short-lived medical drama Off the Map (also known as Grey's Anatomy in the jungle), as well as a role in the HBO miniseries The Pacific.
Fans of Harris' novels will note that Fuller has altered Dr. Bloom by flipping the character's gender, a la Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica – a move that will certainly add some much-needed depth to the all-male cast that's already in place. Reportedly, tabloid journalist Freddy Lounds is also set to undergo a similar switch, as the character will now be a TMZ-style blogger called Fredricka Lounds.
If you're left wondering just how the guy who created Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies will fare handling serial killer material, you needn't worry. Fuller has brought along former Dexter executive producer Sara Colleton to help out. All those years of guiding Miami's unsung vigilante should be of considerable use, especially since Hannibal plans to tell the story of the rather unusual relationship between Lecter and Graham, by starting well before Lecter had become known as "Hannibal the cannibal."
The plan, according to Fuller, is to begin Lecter's story by introducing him with a temperament he's not previously been portrayed as having – something along the lines of a more pleasant disposition, as he assists Graham and the FBI in tracking down other killers, all the while committing murders himself. It's all a part of the incredibly large story arc Fuller has plotted for charismatic killer; one which chronicles Hannibal's journey from respected psychologist, to hunted killer, and finally, the incarcerated manipulator he became infamous for in films like Red Dragon and the Academy Award-winning The Silence of the Lambs.
How big of a role Dr. Bloom will have is unknown at the moment, but considering Dhavernas' history with Fuller, chances are Dr. Bloom will be an important member of the team during the series' first season. The question of where Dhavernas will stand in later seasons won't be answered until (and if) Hannibal proves worthy of such a continuation.
At any rate, the cast of Hannibal is getting more impressive as it creeps closer to production. Hopefully, the names attached to the series are a testament to the quality of Fuller's work and vision, and the series will live up to his rather lofty ambitions.
Screen Rant will have more news regarding Hannibal as it is made available.