David Tennant almost starred on NBC’s Hannibal


David Tennant was considered for the role of cannibal serial killer Hannibal Lecter after finishing his tenure on Doctor Who.

After his disturbing portrayal of Kilgrave on Netflix’s Jessica Jones, we know that David Tennant can go dark. But it turns out he could have gone to the dark side earlier had he taken on the title role in NBC’s series Hannibal.

Scottish actor Tennant became popular for playing the Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who, a role for which he’s still beloved. He told Entertainment Weekly that after he left Doctor Who in 2010 he discussed taking on Hannibal with series creator Bryan Fuller.

Ultimately, the role went to Mads Mikkelsen, a choice Tennant applauds. Mikkelsen was chilling as the character and thoroughly distinguished his version from Anthony Hopkins’s award-winning portrayal of Lecter in Silence of the Lambs.

Of Mikkelsen’s depiction, Tennant says,

"…I think he was a perfect choice for it, and I think he did things with that character that I wouldn’t have managed, so I think the right man got the job."

Despite not landing that role, Tennant went on to acclaim playing a number of interesting characters.

He starred as a taciturn detective in Broadchurch. And as Kilgrave in season one of Jessica Jones, he was the stuff of nightmares. Next, he’ll play another serial killer in the film Bad Samaritan.

When asked about his growing list of villainous characters, Tennant confessed,

"…there is something delicious about playing people that go to really dark corners of the human experience."

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It’s fascinating to consider what Tennant’s interpretation of Hannibal might have been like. Ultimately, given his success with other characters, Tennant doesn’t seem to regret missing out on Hannibal.