Apparently cannibals are really popular. Thomas Harris had already earned himself no small amount of fame (or cash, for that matter) off the back of his Hannibal novels, pulpy crime thrillers about a well-spoken gentleman serial killer with a penchant for human flesh who somehow finds himself relied on as a criminal profiler by the FBI.
Somehow the character reached even dizzier heights of fame when he made the leap to the big screen, reaching its peak with the Oscar-winning Silence Of The Lambs. After Anthony Hopkins made the Hannibal role his own it seemed unthinkable anybody could replace him, let alone make the franchise any more popular.
Then Mads Mikkelsen and the Hannibal TV show happened, filling in Dr Lecter's back story and introducing a new audience to his creepy charms. In three seasons Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy as FBI agent Will Graham and showrunner Bryan Fuller put together a cult hit that made Hannibal even bigger than ever before.
Sadly, cult followings don't pay the rent, and the show's been cancelled. Still, it managed three glorious seasons of gory, beautiful television, and managed to cram a lot in there – such as references to its source material, Fuller's past work, worryingly delicious looking food...but no butt cracks. That was a bridge too far for NBC, apparently.
All of that and more make up the twenty mind-blowing facts you didn't know about Hannibal.