John Cusack

John Cusack and Hugh Grant Almost Played Lecter in ‘Hannibal’

Trey Hilburn IIINewsLeave a Comment

During a conversation with Collider, Hannibal creator, Bryan Fuller revealed some casting details leading up to the NBC series. It seems that from the beginning Fuller was all about casting Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter but NBC had very different actors in mind.

Namely, John Cusack and Hugh Grant, both of which are amazing actors in their own body of work. But, what would either of them have looked like in the role? In the past Brian Cox and Anthony Hopkins created their own Hannibal onscreen persona. Each totally their own and mesmerizing. Mikkelsen did an entirely phenomenal job in the role as we all know. But, for the rest of my life I’m going to attempt to imagine what Cusack would have done in the boots of Lecter.

“It was an interesting dance because I’d say, ‘Mads Mikkelsen!’ and they’d say, ‘No, how about Hugh Grant?’ and I’d say, ‘Great, make an offer, he’s gonna say no,’ then they’d make an offer and he’d say no, and I’d be like, ‘What about Mads Mikkelsen?’ and they’d be like, ‘Well what about John Cusack?’ and I’d say, ‘Great, make an offer, he’s gonna say no’ and they’d make an offer and he’d say no, I’d say, ‘What about Mads Mikkelsen?’ That carousel went around for three or four months after we had cast Hugh [Dancy], it was going on for a while. Finally I just said, ‘Mads is the guy, that’s the guy I see in the role and I have to write it and I have to champion it and I have to understand it,’ and Jennifer Salke at NBC bless her heart was like, ‘Okay, that’s your guy. I believe you and trust you and I’m excited about your vision for the show’.” Fuller told Collider.

Obviously, Mads was a legendary choice, but what do you guys think about the mention of Cusack and Grant? Let us know in the comments section.


Trey grew up wedged in-between the aisles of a video store. After a Cronenbergian inspired sequence, He has officially become fused with both film and video games. He writes all things pop culture, and has accidentally kicked two sharks and lived. Give him a follow and Tweet him something not too judgy @TreyHilburn.