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Mason Verger will look a little different in season three of “Hannibal” — and not just because the sadistic entrepreneur mutilated his own face during his last encounter with Mads Mikkelsen’s titular cannibal.
The character of Mason Verger — a pivotal figure in Thomas Harris’ 1999 novel, “Hannibal,” and the movie adaptation of the same name — was played by Michael Pitt in season two of the NBC drama. According to Variety‘s sister site TV Line, Pitt chose to exit the series and will be replaced in the role by Joe Anderson for the show’s upcoming third season.
Anderson has been posting Instagram pictures from the Toronto set for the past month, including what appeared to be an image of himself in Mason’s full prosthetic makeup (which has since been deleted) and a throwback photo of Gary Oldman in the role from the 2001 “Hannibal” film adaptation.
What do you think of the recasting? »
- Variety Staff
Gary Oldman made a memorable impression on viewers as Mason Verger in 2001’s Hannibal and fans recently saw Michael Pitt leave his own imprint on the creepy character in Season 2 of NBC’s Hannibal TV series. Now a third actor will play the unstable Verger, as it’s been revealed that Pitt will not be back for Season 3, prompting showrunner Bryan Fuller to recast the role.
TVLine reports that Michael Pitt decided to drop out of his role as Verger, with no specific reason yet revealed, though scheduling for the in-demand actor is likely a factor. To fill Pitt’s shoes, Fuller has cast Joe Anderson in the vacated role for Season 3. When Verger was last seen in Season 2, he had undergone a major physical transformation similar to the 2001 film, which will cause Anderson to act under a hearty helping of makeup. Anderson has built a very respectable résumé in his 10+ year acting career, »
- Derek Anderson
In a surprising cast change, Michael Pitt has opted out of returning for the third season of NBC's "Hannibal". Instead, actor Joe Anderson ("The Grey," "Across the Universe") will be taking over the role of Mason Verger in the new season says TV Line.
Pitt played the character, who serves as the antagonist of the Thomas Harris novel "Hannibal," in numerous episodes of the show's second season. When we last saw him, the character was paralysed, confined to a respirator and covered in a facial mask after Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) drugs and orders him to peel off his face and feed it to the dogs of Will Graham (Hugh Dancy).
The character plays a part in the third season and so showrunner Bryan Fuller has had to recast. Considering Verger's visage will be either under a mask or shown as a grotesque make-up job, Anderson will only have to nail the voice. »
- Garth Franklin
2014 was a strong year for television, both at home and abroad. Our countdown of the best TV shows of the past twelve months concludes today.
Watch the video above for our celebratory quick guide to the top 25 dramas of the year, then read on to find out more about the shows we crowned our favourite TV of the year.
Additional material by Catriona Wightman and Ben Lee
Digital Spy's best TV shows of the year 2014: 10-6
Digital Spy's best TV shows of the year 2014: 15-11
Digital Spy's best TV shows of the year 2014: 20-16
Digital Spy's best TV shows of the year 2014: 25-21
In a year where many supposedly bright new comedies left us feeling a bit disappointed, we could always rely on Brooklyn Nine-Nine to actually make us laugh out loud.
There's very little deadwood among the sparkling cast, and one of the »
Once the hallmark of the villain, torture became a hero’s tool 40 years ago – and since then it’s been a frequent ingredient in popular entertainment
CIA torture: Homeland and 24 make great TV, but they’re no way to govern
“Torture is not an effective way to get information,” said former FBI interviewer Joe Navarro, reacting to the Senate intelligence committee’s summary report on the FBI’s torture practices. “A person will do anything to stop the pain and torture”, and the practice “impairs the suspect’s ability to remember details that may be essential to your investigation.”
The CIA’s techniques may have been condemned as ineffective and disdained by professional interrogators, but that doesn’t mean movie and TV audiences will notice any immediate decrease in the onslaught of fictional depictions of torture. Whether your formative cinematic memory is Gert Fröbe aiming an industrial laser between Sean Connery »
- Jonathan Bernstein
The release date for Kung Fu Panda 3 has been moved to 2016.
Originally scheduled for December 23, 2015 in the Us, the Jack Black animation feature will now launch on March 18, 2016, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
20th Century Fox stated that the decision was made to avoid directly competing with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opens on December 18, 2015.
Domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson said: "This is part of our constantly re-evaluating the competitive landscape, as we do with all of our films."
With the buzz swirling around Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, following the first trailer that debuted just two weeks ago, DreamWorks Animation has decided to push Kung Fu Panda 3 from December 23, 2015 to March 18, 2016. The animated sequel was originally slated to open just five days after Star Wars: The Force Awakens's December 18, 2015 debut. Kung Fu Panda 3 would have also debuted just two days before a quartet of Christmas Day 2015 releases including Lionsgate's Dirty Grandpa, 20th Century Fox's Joy, Paramount's Mission: Impossible 5 and New Regency's The Revenant.
Kung Fu Panda 3 will now square off against Lionsgate's The Divergent Series: Allegiant: Part 1. DreamWorks Animation's Boss Baby is already scheduled for release on March 18, 2016, which means this project will have to find a new release date in the near future. DreamWorks Animation also has Home (March 27, 2015) arriving next year, with another project, B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations, »
Another year, another bout of righteous fury.
Nominations for the 72nd Golden Globes were revealed today - with the ceremony itself set for January 11, 2015 - and, as is tradition, telly addicts were thrown into disarray as many of their favourite shows and stars were seemingly snubbed.
Here are a few omissions that Digital Spy has deemed particularly galling - from Globe winners of the past to the perpetually ignored.
Last year, not only was Fox's cop sitcom nominated for two Globes, but it went on to win both. This year, Brooklyn Nine-Nine - one of the few comedies on Us television guaranteed to have you laughing out loud each and every week - was entirely absent from the 'Comedy or Musical Series' shortlist.
Back in 2011, the first season of HBO's fantasy epic earned a Globe nomination, while Peter Dinklage walked away with the award for »
Surprises and snubs from Thursday morning's announcement of the 2015 Golden Globe nominees are to be expected; the Globe voters can't nominate every worthy person, movie, and TV show, and yet they always include some head-scratching inclusions and omissions.
It's hard to get outraged -- after all, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group that gives out the Globes every January, isn't taken nearly as seriously or regarded with anywhere near the prestige enjoyed by the Academies that grant the Oscars and the Emmys. Nonetheless, the Globes do shape the conversation about which movies and TV shows deserve prizes each year, and no one wants to be left out of consideration. Here, then, are this year's notable Globe snubs and surprises.
- Gary Susman
Another year in the books, everyone! This week, Vulture will be publishing our critics' top-ten lists. Enjoy. 1. Hannibal (NBC)Bryan Fuller’s TV adaptation of Thomas Harris’s fiction is a total vision — mournfully expressionist, shockingly violent, and strangely tender. Virtually alone among television dramas, network or cable, it demands that viewers make an imaginative leap and see its nightmarish action as both figurative and emotionally real. It’s also one of the scariest shows in TV history, delivering images every week so potent that they lodge in the viewer’s memory like rusty barbs. And yet for all of its ugliness and horror, it is an intensely pleasurable experience, appallingly sensual, laying out food, furniture, clothes, windows, doors, and landscapes with painterly exactness. The ensemble cast is one of the best on television, and one of the most heroic, considering the ludicrousness they are expected to put across: Mads Mikkelsen, »
- Matt Zoller Seitz
Thomas Vinterberg’s "The Hunt" earned a Best Foreign Language Academy Award nomination at this year’s ceremony. Starring Mads Mikkelsen, the psychologically aggressive film focuses in on a town imploding after pedophilia accusations spread like wildfire. Like he did with his Dogme 95 film "The Celebration," Vinterberg’s film burrows straight to the gut, a moral play with physicality. Based on the trailer for his follow-up, an adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s "Far From The Madding Crowd," the director will adapt that audacious approach for sweeping romance. "Far From The Madding Crowd" stars Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdene, a woman it takes her independence seriously. As she navigates the ups and downs of life, the worst and best of romantic interests, her life continuously brings her back to Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts of "Rust and Bone"), a shepherd who dreams of being more than friends. Michael Sheen and Tom Sturridge play two other potential suitors, »
- Matt Patches
LevelK closed Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg (Imagine) Czech Republic and Slovakia (Film Europe) and Hungary (Vertigo), and is closing many additional sales.
“Men & Chicken” turns on two outcast brothers — played by Mikkelsen and David Dencik — who don’t get along but reunite with their relatives following the death of their father when they find out they were adopted.
Tivi Magnusson and Kim Magnusson are producing for M&M Prods.; Germany’s Studio Babelsberg and Dcm are co-producing. It’s backed by the Danish Film Institute, Dr and Disney Denmark, among other partners.
The movie will premiere in Denmark on Feb. 5. The German rollout is scheduled for March 12.
- Elsa Keslassy
Can NBC's Hannibal top its superlative second season? With what season 3 has in store, Gabriel believes so...
When the credits rolled on Hannibal’s second season finale, my heart did not slow down for twenty minutes. I stared at my TV screen, mouth hanging open, unable to believe the sheer insane, vicious horror and beauty of what I had just witnessed. Not only was it the kind of carnage that could give Game Of Thrones a run for its money, but it was also so full of genuine pathos and emotion. Betrayal, forgiveness, revenge; it all came together in those final minutes. It was a finale of peculiar power, full of the kind of sad inevitability that could move you to tears and get your adrenalin pumping all at the same time. Quite simply, I have »
When you're in the mood for an action movie, Netflix has plenty to stream. Great, except that so many of their action titles are no-name, forgettable schlock. So we've done some of the heavy lifting by highlighting the best of the best currently available in the genre. Who do you want to see duke it out? Take your pick, from gangsters to gladiators, robots to ninjas, schoolkids to superheroes.
Cue that suiting-up pre-battle montage and start streaming, because here are some of the best action movies Netflix has to offer. (Availability subject to change.)
1. "13 Assassins" (2010) R
2. "48 Hrs."(1982) R
3. "Assault on Precinct 13" (1976) R
- Sharon Knolle
Director: Fredrik Bond
Run Time: 103 minutes
Synopsis: A young man embarks on a trip of self-discovery and love with a deadly twist when he falls for a troubled Romanian beauty.
Have you ever volunteered a response to a raised question and then wished you had just kept quiet and drank your coffee instead? What about suffering a complete mental blank with no hope of a quick recovery? Apparently I haven’t learned from the former nor recovered from the latter after seeing Fredrik Bond’s debut film Charlie Countryman.
Emboldened by the sixth sense encounter with his recently deceased mother Katie (Melissa Leo) to visit Bucharest, lost soul Charlie Countryman (Shia Labeouf) embarks on a trip of self-discovery after meeting Romanian taxi driver Victor (Ion Caramitru) mid-flight. Touched by the Grim Reaper before returning »
- Sacha Hall
The Marvel drumbeat continues as Deadline has word that the studio has selected Benedict Cumberbatch to play Doctor Strange in their next comic adaptation. According to Deadline, negotiations are now about to begin.
Doctor Strange has proved a notorious role to cast, with Joaquin Phoenix falling out of the project several months back (here was his look at his contract with Marvel) and many other names being thrown around, including Ethan Hawke, Matthew McConaughey and Mads Mikkelsen.
Cumberbatch is of course a natural choice, having already served as a tentpole movie villain in Star Trek Into Darkness and in being generally the Internet’s favorite.
What do you think of the casting choice of Benedict Cumberbatch?
The post Benedict Cumberbatch is »
- Brian Welk
For years, Hannibal the Cannibal was synonymous with Anthony Hopkins. He delivered a dark, chilling, Oscar-winning performance in Silence Of The Lambs. While there might have been a little bit more ham to his performance in Hannibal, Hopkins to continued to mesmerise audiences. Frankly it was impossible to imagine anyone else playing the role – forget Hannibal Rising – and so the idea of a television reboot seemed an unnecessary cash in.
How wrong we were: over the last two years Bryan Fuller has delivered the best show on television. Oh you might argue that Game Of Thrones wears that crown but Hannibal is the only show currently airing where not a single moment is wasted. Every performance is sublime; every shot is beautifully crafted; every episode delivers something so entirely unexpected that even readers of Thomas Harris’s novels can only guess where the show will take us next.
- Baz Greenland
Pic marks a departure from Denmark’s strong tradition for making crime thrillers and social realism, per Bukh. “I wanted to prove that we are also capable in these genres, by making an entertaining and suspenseful sci-fi and horror movie,” added the director.
“Encounters” follows a group of four young filmmakers who travel into the Swedish woods to shoot a low-budget horror movie. The shooting unravels when they get lost and one of the actors disappears only to return hours later, naked and in a catatonic state.
- Elsa Keslassy
A couple more reports from London and Chicago festivals heading your way. Here's David on three new films starring either Alicia Vikander or Mads Mikkelsen, who formerly sizzled together in Denmark's recent Oscar nominee "A Royal Affair" - Editor
That Testament of Youth was made the Centrepiece Gala at the festival seems, sight unseen, predictable: supported by the Mayor of London, the Gala slot is one of the few that really demonstrates the festival's support of homegrown cinema, and the story told here is as British as you can get. 2014 marks the centenary of World War I, and with it comes this adaptation of Vera Brittain's iconic memoir. James Kent's film keeps his focus to the period of the war itself, beginning at its end; Vera (Alicia Vikander) looks oddly distraught amidst the celebrating crowds packing London's streets. Testament of Youth is a compassionate reminder of »
Sales outfit LevelK is to debut Scandinavian horror-sci fi Encounters at the Afm.
Encounters, directed by Anders Johannes Bukh, follows a group of young filmmakers who travel into the Swedish woods to shoot a low-budget horror film. After they become lost one of the actors disappears only to return hours later, naked and in a catatonic state.
The film is set for a VOD release in conjunction with Danish horror festival Bloody Weekend.
Warfare doc [link »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
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