Mads Mikkelsen, no stranger to playing iconic villains, will take the title role in NBC's drama "Hannibal."
 
According to a variety of media reports -- we'll cite HollywoodReporter.com -- Mikkelsen will play Hannibal Lecter in the Bryan Fuller-scripted prequel to Thomas Harris' "Red Dragon."
 
"Hannibal" focuses on profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) as he works with the brilliant Dr. Lecter on cases for the FBI. As we already know -- Spoiler, duh -- Lecter's no stranger to serial murders of his own.
 
David Slade ("Hard Candy," "Awake") is directing the "Hannibal" pilot, though NBC has already given a 13-episode midseason order to the international co-production.
 
Mikkelsen is riding high off an acting award for Thomas Vinterberg's "The Hunt" at the recently completed Cannes Film Festival. Already set for a main role in "Thor 2," Mikkelsen has played Le Chiffre in "Casino Royale" and Rochefort in "The Three Musketeers," as well as appearing in "Clash of the Titans" and "King Arthur."