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Raul Esparza Makes Debut On HANNIBAL Tonight

Broadway superstar Raul Esparza continues his recent TV sojourn and makes his long-awaited debut in a recurring role on NBC's controversial horror-themed series Hannibal tonight, in an episode titled "Entree".

Esparza, most recently on Broadway in LEAP OF FAITH, essays the role of Dr. Frederick Chilton, a psychiatric institute's crooked quack of a captain, while Hugh Dancy, late of VENUS IN FURS, leads the series as Will Graham.

HANNIBAL depicts the earlier life of famed psychiatrist and cannibal Hannibal Lector, originally played by Anthony Hopkins in the multi-Academy Award-winning feature film THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, which was followed up with a sequel, HANNIBAL, and a prequel, Red Dragon, all based on the novels by Thomas Harris. Additionally, Harris most recently wrote Hannibal RISING, a novel depicting the childhood of the central antagonist/protagonist of the novels.

NBC's Hannibal TV series follows Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and his interactions with confidant/mentor Hannibal Lector (Mads Mikkelsen) and takes place several years prior to the events in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, largely focused on the Red Dragon-era years when Lector worked alongside the FBI to track the most dangerous and violent serial killers on earth.

Esparza joins a starry supporting cast that also includes Laurence Fishburne as Will Graham's tough-taking boss Jack Crawford and Gillian Anderson as Dr. Lector's psychiatrist (a role not represented in the novels).

HANNIBAL was created by PUSHING DAISIES mastermind Bryan Fuller and features some other DAISIES collaborators besides Esparza, as well, with roles for Ellen Greene and Molly Shannon occuring throughout the first season.

HANNIBAL airs Thursdays at 10 PM on NBC.

View the trailer for tonight's episode of Hannibal featuring Esparza below.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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