The NBC ‘Hannibal’’s bold choice to introduce ‘Boardwalk Empire’ star Michael Pitt as iconic literary baddie Mason Verger paid off in gruesome spades, but it seems season 3 will have a new face to go along with Mason’s…well, “new” face. Pitt has opted to leave the NBC drama behind, and will be replaced by ‘The Divide’ star Joe Anderson.

Word of Pitt’s recasting comes from TVLine, who add that the notoriously difficult ‘Boardwalk Empire’ star apparently opted to leave ‘Hannibal’ behind of his own volition. To be fair, season 2 saw the Mason Verger character undergoing a rather ghastly physical change anyway, as - spoiler alert - Dr. Lecter had psychotropically convinced the deranged billionaire to hack away at, and eat portions of his own face.

Elsewhere, we know of ‘Hannibal’ season 3 that Gillian Anderson has been upgraded to series regular as Dr. Bedelia du Maurier, last cryptically seen flying alongside Hannibal in the post-credits tag of season 2 finale bloodbath “Mizumono.” Raul Esparza will (somewhat) surprisingly return to the role of Dr. Frederick Chilton, while Fuller suggested Eddie Izzard could return to the role of the late Dr. Abel Gideon as well.

The new season will pick up sometime later with Hannibal and Bedelia’s new life on the lam, also incorporating such literary Thomas Harris figures as Mason Verger’s living assistant Cordell, and ‘Red Dragon’ characters Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi, and Francis Dolarhyde. Additionally, ‘Batman vs. Superman’and ‘The Wolverine’ star Tao Okamoto has been confirmed to play the role of Hannibal’s “aunt” Lady Murasaki.

We’re not entirely surprised to see Michael Pitt bowing out, what with the actor’s unusual history, and the character’s newly limited mobility and appearance, but what say you? Will you miss Pitt’s Joker-esque take on Mason Verger? How do you think Joe Anderson will fare in the role? Get a first look from the man himself, and give us your thoughts in the comments!