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David Slade Will Take ‘Hannibal’ to Television

David Slade Hannibal Pilot
Universal

We knew NBC was bringing the charming, cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter to television, but now we know who will be sitting in the director’s chair for the pilot episode: David Slade, the talented filmmaker who made the small, tense ‘Hard Candy,’ the bloody vampire flick ’30 Days of Night’ and pocketed a mighty paycheck for ‘The Twilight Sage: Eclipse.’

In the increasingly bizarre Hannibal Lecter chronology, the aptly-titled ‘Hannibal‘ takes place after ‘Hannibal Rising’ and before ‘Red Dragon,’ ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ and, er, ‘Hannibal.’ The series will follow FBI Agent Will Graham (to be played by Hugh Dancy), who will spend every episode tracking down killers of all kinds with the help of his friend and mentor, Hannibal Lecter (to be played by an actor who will be endlessly scrutinized), whom he doesn’t know is a killer himself. Fans of the books and the films already know how this relationship ends (see the opening ten minutes of ‘Red Dragon’ if you need to refresh your memory), but this if a partnership that could make for compelling television, even if it does feel a little like ‘Dexter’ lite.

Although Slade is currently hard at work prepping a ‘Daredevil‘ reboot  for Fox, he’s been keeping busy on the small screen. ‘Hannibal’ will be Slade’s second pilot for NBC after directing the first episode of ‘Awake‘ last year. He also directed the pilot for Lifetime’s ‘American Housewife,’ the kind of jump that makes sense when you’re a filmmaker who can crank out horror movies and ‘Twilight’ movies. Although the director of a TV pilot doesn’t always have a huge creative role in the ongoing story, he does establish the overall directorial style of the show and if there’s one thing Slade has in spades, it’s style. If anything, ‘Hannibal’ will be one fine looking television show.

The 13-episode first season will premiere eventually. After all, they still need to cast the titular character.

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