My favorite part of watching (and reviewing) the first season of Bryan Fuller‘s Hannibal was the attention to detail and brilliant use of elements that only a fan of Thomas Harris’ original novel, Red Dragon, would recognize. For example, we got to meet characters the book only ever vaguely mentioned–like Garrett Jacob Hobbs.
This season, it seems Fuller has decided to expand further into the “Lecterverse” by introducing a character who will later become infamous as the only person to survive a Hannibal Lecter attack: the wealthy, disturbed, and downright evil, Mason Verger.
Verger was introduced in Harris’ 1999 novel Hannibal–his third novel to include the character of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and the follow-up to 1988’s Silence of the Lambs–which became a sensation after the release of Johnathan Demme’s Oscar-winning film adaptation.
Mason Verger was a patient of Dr. Lecter and so unpleasant and despicable that Lecter didn’t even let him die. He slipped Verger powerful hallucinogens and then gave him a knife and suggested he slice his own face off–which Lecter then fed to some dogs Verger had been torturing for his own amusement. Then the doctor broke Mason’s repugnant little neck and left him alive–disfigured and paralyzed.
Anyway, most of the novel Hannibal details Mason’s absurdly elaborate revenge plot against the good doctor–who escaped from the asylum at the end of the previous book. Fuller will be bringing Verger into the story late in season two and we’ll get to see what this repugnant character is like with working limbs and a face. He’s being portrayed by Boardwalk Empire‘s Michael Pitt. I don’t know Pitt or his show (which I hear is good), but I like his look for Verger–he stinks of upper-class amorality.
Yes, that’s a good thing.
Fuller is also bringing in Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps, Jason Vs. Freddy, Being Human–see below) as another Hannibal novel character: Mason’s sister, Margot.
In the novel, Margot Verger is a practically Amazonian, crew-cutted lesbian bodybuilder who can crack walnuts in one hand. Apparently, Fuller has decided to go in a somewhat different direction.
Margot was also sexually abused by Mason when they were children, but whether or not that detail will be used in the series remains to be seen.
Final note, observant readers will notice I’ve made no mention of Ridley Scott’s 2001 film adaptation of Hannibal.
They’re right–I haven’t.