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James Hibberd
July 26, 2012 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Laurence Fishburne is returning to primetime TV.

The former CSI star has just been cast in a key recurring role on NBC’s upcoming serial killer thriller Hannibal.

The veteran actor (The Matrix) will play FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit leader Jack Crawford on the show. It’s role that’s been played by Dennis Farina (Manhunter), Scott Glenn (The Silence of the Lambs) and Harvey Keitel (Red Dragon) in the film versions of Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter novels.

NBC’s series version is being masterminded by writer-producer Bryan Fuller. Fishburne will play FBI agent Will Graham’s (Hugh Dancy) stern boss. Crawford  introduces Graham to a psychiatrist with a rather dark secret (Mads Mikkelsen) who helps them solve crimes.

“Laurence Fishburne is an iconic man who has been making his cinematic mark since Apocalypse Now and it’s a thrill not only to work with him but to see such a brilliant, sophisticated actor step into the shoes of Thomas Harris’ brilliant, sophisticated character,” said Fuller in a statement to “I cannot imagine a better cast for Hannibal than the one we’ve assembled.”

The 13-episode first season of Hannibal is expected to premiere in midseason on NBC and, given the level of talent involved, we’re definitely looking forward to this one.


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