Bryan Fuller, the programme creator of NBC’s “Hannibal” is looking to put a fresh twist on Thomas Harris’ novel of the same name with an alteration on one of its character, Lady Murasaki.

Although the third season of NBC’s “Hannibal” is still in development, Deadline reported that “Wolverine” actress Tao Okamoto will join the cast as Hannibal Lecter’s aunt, Lady Murasaki. The character was first introduced through Thomas Harris’ “Hannibal Rising” as the mysterious aunt to the young Hannibal Lecter. In the film adaptation of “Hannibal Rising”, Lady Murasaki is portrayed by Chinese actress Gong Li while the young Hannibal Lecter is portrayed by French actor Gaspard Ulliel.

Lady Murasaki
Tao Okamoto vs Gong Li as Lady Murasaki

Hailing all the way from Japan, Lady Murasaki has strong traditions of samurai heritage and passes down the samurai skills to Hannibal Lecter. She also became a brief lover of Hannibal Lecter but the 2 part ways after he kills Vladis Grutas, a man who sexually assaulted her.


However, in the upcoming season of the prequel TV series of “Hannibal”, Bryan Fuller (as mentioned in an interview) says that “her relationship to Hannibal will be more damaged and different.” On top of that, Okamoto’s Lady Murasaki will be the major guest-starring arc in the new season of NBC’s “Hannibal”, where Mads Mikkelsen is set to reprise his role as Hannibal Lecter.

Although Fuller has previously stated in an interview that he’d want David Bowie, David Thewlis, Brad Dourif, Kristin Chenoweth, Lee Pace, and Anna Friel as actors he’d like to appear on the series, Tao Okamoto is the only confirmed actress that is set to appear in the new season of “Hannibal” TV series.

In other casting news, reported that Okamoto will join cast in the upcoming DC Comic film “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” as Mercy Graves, Lex Luthor’s personal assistant and body guard.


Well, it looks like Okamoto won’t be playing Lady Murasaki after all because Fuller has just revealed in an interview that she will be playing Murasaki’s attendant instead.


Chiyo aka Lady Murasaki’s attendant is a character that was featured in the Thomas Harris’ novel and it has not been adapted into any film or TV series yet. Although Okamoto was interested in the role of Lady Murasaki, Fuller revealed that they have decided to cast her as Chiyo and expand that character through her history with Hannibal Lecter. He said:

There were a lot of things that we needed the character to do, story wise, that didn’t make sense for Lady Murasaki to do. With Chiyo, we had a greater rein. I’m very excited to work with her.

So, what do you think of the casting news? Which actors would you like to see to appear in the new season of “Hannibal”? Let us know in the comments box below!

(Source: 1, 2)

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