Although Anthony Hopkins did an astounding job at portraying the cannibal, Hannibal Lecter, fans of the Netflix series Hannibal would argue that Mads Mikkelsen did a better job.
Hannibal Lecter is a fictional cannibal that portrays a different side of the horror concept with a brilliant professional that calculatedly eats his prey. In order to properly portray this cannibal the actor should have a very intimidating but also alluring personality which is something that Mads Mikkelsen did on Netflix and Anthony Hopkins did on Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon both brilliantly. The question is, who did it better?
Hannibal Lecter Mads Mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter had more screen time compared to Anthony Hopkins which is an advantage since he was able spend more time developing the brilliant cannibal’s persona. Due to the longer screen time, Mads Mikkelsen on Netflix was really able to dive deeper into the character and show both the revered and intimidating side at the same time.
The cannibal that Mads Mikkelsen displayed showed more details compared to what Anthony Hopkins had shown in his brief appearances in the movies. One thing that was a huge advantage for Mads Mikkelsen was that on Hannibal Netflix, he was able to take his time creating an atmosphere that gave the cannibal life.
Hannibal Lecter Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins, although showed just a brief performance in Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon, was brilliant enough to deliver a memorable presence showing a cannibal that was both well behaved but still a very intimidating character. The whole physical appearance of Anthony Hopkins itself was enough to command attention from the audience.
Sadly, fans would argue that Anthony Hopkins did not get enough screen time and that he would have actually been the best Hannibal Lecter if ever he was given more time. This is also arguable because due to the brief performance of his version of the cannibal, he is now more memorable and it gave him a more mysterious vibe in which Mads Mikkelsen did not really have since even his backstory was briefly tackled.
Which cannibal was more intimidating?
Although Mads Mikkelsen commanded a great deal of fear through the things he said, the things he did, and the way he said and did those things, Anthony Hopkins, on the other hand, had a sinister look and grin that instantly instilled fear to the viewers. Even the way Anthony Hopkins said certain words was intimidating enough.
This was also due to the difference in characters between the Netflix Hannibal Lecter and the movie version. The Netflix version had a younger cannibal that had to pretend to work with the feds in order to hide his schemes while the movie version had a more established Lecter who worked as a professor before capture.
As to whether which one did Hannibal Lecter better, this depends entirely if fans would prefer the mystery or the rich history of the popular cannibal.