X-Files alumnus Gillian Anderson has signed on to appear in NBC’s Hannibal series, based on the Thomas Harris novels and the films adapted from them.
MSN notes that Anderson’s participation in the new series marks her return to TV after a 10 year absence, during which she has appeared in several films, including X-Files: I Want to Believe in 2008.
According to EW, Anderson is set to appear in a multi-episode story arc as Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, the personal therapist to the murderous Dr. Hannibal Lecter (portrayed by Casino Royale‘s Mads Mikkelsen).
“Every therapist needs their own head examined and we are ecstatic that Gillian Anderson has chosen Hannibal to mark her return to American television after 10 years to portray Dr. Lecter’s personal psychiatrist,” writer-producer Bryan Fuller said in a statement. “Her intelligence and sophistication, not to mention her pedigree of ground-breaking TV, make her the perfect actress to match wits and psychological manipulations with one of the greatest villains of pop culture. I couldn’t be more excited.”
Interestingly, iMDB reports that Anderson was actually in the running to play series staple Clarice Starling in the 2001 adaptation of Hannibal after Jodie Foster dropped out of the Silence of the Lambs sequel. Anderson’s contract with X-Files reportedly didn’t allow her to portray another FBI agent, so the role ultimately went to Julianne Moore.
The TV adaptation of Hannibal already boasts an impressive all-star roster. In addition to leads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy, the series has also signed on Laurence Fishburne, Eddie Izzard, Gina Torres, Molly Shannon, Ellen Greene and Chelan Simmons.