Although his time on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation only lasted a few seasons, fans will be able to see acclaimed actor Laurence Fishburne on the small screen once more in NBC's upcoming Hannibal series from Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller.
The series is scheduled as a midseason replacement, which gives Fishburne plenty of time to get involved in the production and also explain why Hannibal is still casting at this point in the television cycle. Now that he's signed on, NBC has announced that Fishburne will be taking on the role of Jack Crawford.
The Crawford role is seen as an essential recurring character that will have plenty of interaction with Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) as the head of the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit, and therefore Graham's boss. Chances are, that relationship will also provide an opening for Crawford to interact with Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) - especially considering the series' first season will take the characters back to a more civilized time, when Graham saw Lecter as more of a mentor and less of a cannibalistic murderer with a penchant for organ meat and Chianti.
If the cast that has been lined up is any indication, Fuller's plans to detail the rise and fall of the inimitable Dr. Lecter may prove to be something special, indeed.With this much talent jumping on board, Hannibal should at the very least attract a sizeable audience when it finally premieres. As far as the show's creator is concerned, the show is lucky to have landed the actors it has.
In an announcement regarding the casting of Fishburne, Fuller had this to say:
“Laurence Fishburne is an iconic man who has been making his cinematic mark since 'Apocalypse Now' and it’s a thrill not only to work with him but to see such a brilliant, sophisticated actor step into the shoes of Thomas Harris’ brilliant, sophisticated character. I cannot imagine a better cast for 'Hannibal' than the one we’ve assembled.”
With his work in The Matrix films especially, Fishburne not only earned himself the attention of a whole new audience, but also transitioned into playing characters with a certain amount of integrity and authority. Since then, he's parlayed that kind of disposition into significant roles in films like Mission: Impossible III, Contagion and next year's highly anticipated Man of Steel, where he'll be stepping into the iconic shoes of Daily Planet editor in chief, Perry White.
Fuller, in the meantime, has been incredibly busy with his two new projects preparing for air on NBC. In addition to Hannibal, Fuller has been revamping The Munsters for modern audiences in the upcoming series Mockingbird Lane, which features the likes of Eddie Izzard as Grandpa and Jerry O'Connell taking on the role of Herman Munster.
In the past, Fuller's work has always leaned more toward the slightly macabre, but at each series' core was a more heartfelt and quirky sensibility - something like the aforementioned Pushing Daisies or Showtime's Dead Like Me. His work on the Hannibal Lecter end of the television spectrum has yet to be tested, and with director David Slade (30 Days of Night, Awake) handling the series' pilot, Hannibal may prove to be a whole new side of Fuller that television never even knew it had been waiting for.
Hannibal is expected to premiere on NBC as a midseason replacement. Screen Rant will keep you informed of a premiere date or additional casting as it is made available.