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Bryan Fuller's Hannibal has already brought to life some of the most memorable psychopaths from Thomas Harris' series of novels, but in Season 3 it looks as though the show will be featuring one of the worst of the worst. Francis Dolarhyde perhaps better known as the menacing and crazy Tooth Fairy from the book Red Dragon, is set to play a key role in upcoming episodes of the series, and now word has come down that an actor has been found for the part.
TV Line is reporting official news from NBC saying that The Hobbit star Richard Armitage has signed a deal to play Francis Dollarhyde in Season 3 of Hannibal. For those unfamiliar with the character, the character got his Tooth Fairy nickname due to his tendency to kill entire families and leave bite marks on the bodies. He is the central antagonist of Thomas Harris' 1981 novel Red Dragon, and has been previously brought to life in two different incarnations of the story. In Brett Ratner's adaptation of the same name, he was played by Ralph Fiennes, and in Michael Mann's 1986 version Manhunter he was portrayed by Tom Noonan.
What's interesting about this development is the fact that Hannibal is seemingly going to have to go in some very different story directions than what is featured in Thomas Harris' book and what has been seen in other adaptations. In previous incarnations, Will Graham is forced to consult with Hannibal Lecter in order to solve the Tooth Fairy case, but in those versions Hannibal also happens to be locked away at the Baltimore State Forensic Hospital for the Criminally Insane. At the end of Hannibal Season 2, the titular character is anything but imprisoned, as he is shown heading to France accompanied by Dr. Du Maurier. In light of this, it will be interesting to see how the Francis Dollarhyde plot develops, as the conflict and conversations between Will and Hannibal are absolutely key to it.
Richard Armitage has a good amount of television work in his background, most of it U.K.-based, but in recent years he has been a bit more focused on his big screen work,. His experience in blockbusters began with a role as spy/assassin Heinz Kruger in Captain America: The First Avenger, but we also saw him pop up every December for the past three years playing Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy.In 2014 he also had a major role in the found footage tornado thriller Into The Storm, and also starred as John Proctor in director Yaël Farber's adaptation of Arthur Miller's The Crucible.
Richard Armitage's stay on Hannibal will reportedly be for at least six episodes of Season 3, and The Wrap says that should start around episode eight. Sadly, it has not yet been announced when the show will be coming back in 2015, but we're on high alert for that announcement.