E! News has reported that rocker David Bowie is being courted for a role in season two of NBC's Hannibal. Showrunner Bryan Fuller says, "We have reached out to David Bowie to see if he's interested and available. We would love for him to play Hannibal's uncle, who is a character from the literature and in the books."
Hannibal's uncle is a man called Count Robert Lecter. In the Thomas Harris book Hannibal Rising, Robert Lecter adopts a young Hannibal after his parents are killed and sister is murdered and cannibalized by Nazi deserters. Robert is married to a Japanese woman and he is eventually killed by Nazis himself. For the Hannibal television show, they are exploring possibilities where Robert will still be alive.
The show's executives do not have an answer yet from Bowie, but they hope he will join them when the show resumes production in Toronto in August.
Bowie's physical resemblance to series star Mads Mikkelsen would certainly help tell the story. Mikkelson, widely known for his earlier role as Le Chiffre in the James Bond thriller Casino Royale, has a thin, wiry build. Bowie himself has had a stage persona called The Thin White Duke.
Bowie's experience as an actor includes Christopher Nolan's 2006 film, The Prestige, where he played Nikola Tesla. He is also famous for his role as Jareth, the Goblin King in the 1986 film Labyrinth, alongside Jennifer Connelly. And he had a brief but memorable cameo as himself in Zoolander, where he judged a walk-off competition between the film's two rivals.
Of course, Bowie's mainstay is music. In addition to his numerous hit records, including Space Oddity (1969), The Man Who Sold the World (1970), The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), Let's Dance (1983), and now The Next Day, released this year. In 1992, Bowie married Somali-American model Iman.