Hannibal Recast Shocker: Michael Pitt Out, Joe Anderson In as Mason Verger

Michael Pitt will no longer be hearing the screaming squealing of the lambs pigs when Hannibal returns for Season 3.

The actor, who played sociopathic meat-packing magnate Mason Verger in Season 2, is not returning to the series and will be replaced by Joe Anderson (The Divide, The River), TVLine has learned exclusively.

The decision not to return was Pitt’s, according to sources.

The recast comes at a fairly convenient time in Mason’s story arc: When we last saw him, he was under the influence of Dr. Lecter’s hallucinogenic drugs, and being led by the titular serial killer to carve off chunks of his own face to feed to himself and nemesis Will Graham’s dogs.

In October, TVLine reported that Season 3 of Hannibal will introduce a new recurring character named Cordell, the “quiet, very intelligent and definitely creepy” personal doctor to Mason. The late-thirtysomething character is described as “attentive and gentle with Mason, a professional who cares about his work, but we get a sense he might be as sadistic as his boss — and a perfect fit to become his potential henchman.”

Update: Anderson has posted a photo of himself on Instagram in full Mason Verger regalia — check it out below (if you dare).


Bummed about Pitt’s exit from Hannibal? Excited to see what Anderson can do with the role? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. dji says:

    uh i don’t know if this recast will work. we’ll see. but i doubt it.

  2. James says:

    What the hell?! Dude can NOT keep a job…

  3. While this sucks for consistency’s sake, I probably wouldn’t have noticed if this hadn’t been reported on. Dude’s face is half gone.

    • SallyW says:

      That’s exactly what I was thinking!

    • Rave says:

      But how can his voice be replaced? It freaking resonates in my head whenever I’m done with watching an episode. That sadistic, patronizing tone that he pulls off kind of perfectly…I wish he hadn’t left.

  4. redroseunicorn says:

    Reblogged this on Reagan Warren, Writer and commented:
    I certainly hadn’t expected this! I’ll miss Michael Pitt, he was really good in the role. We’ll see how Joe Anderson fairs in comparison.

  5. I am shock to read that Michael Pitts will be replace by another actor. Good luck to his replace actor.

  6. kiltedhulk69 says:

    Oh Lord I would do anything just to watch a weekend of Anderson

  7. Matt says:

    Apparently Pitt had a busy schedule and was not able to return to Hannibal.

  8. alistaircrane says:

    So many of you have obviously never watched soap operas, where recasts are par for the course.

  9. Ugh says:

    No!!!!!!! Pitt was just so good in this role.

  10. Kate says:

    Eek, I loved Michael Pitt in this role, but I supposed of any role really currently on TV, it was the one most easily recast, well, because of the physical state we last left him in. I’m surprised to even see full face make up, I thought a mask (sort of like Twisty’s from AHS) would be necessary.

  11. Danielle says:

    I am really sad to see Michael Pitt go, but I have full faith in Bryan Fuller’s casting. He hasn’t let us down thus far, so I trust him.

  12. Whatevah says:

    I’m still upset that The Divide was cancelled.

  13. androme3 says:

    I am saddened to see Mr. Pitt leave Hannibal. He WAS Mason Verger. But I do have faith in Mr. Anderson in doing a fantastic job in this recast.
    Also, I find it genius, because of Mason carving off his face, it will definitely look different. This Mason and Doctor will brilliantly play into this.
    Good luck, Joe. Good luck, Michael.

  14. Sara says:

    From previous interviews Michael PItt has given, I thought it was kind of a long shot for the show to get him back. He talked about how busy his schedule was and just kind of gave off the impression (to me anyway) that he wasn’t too keen on returning. Thankfully, it is a fairly easy role to recast visually. And I love Joe Anderson, so I’m excited to see what he brings to the role. I was just watching Across the Universe last night and wondering what he was up to these days, so I am super excited for him to be cast in one of my favorite and most anticipated shows!

  15. Mie says:

    Noooooooo! Pitt was perfect as Mason. “I’m full of myself!” was my favourite line in all of 2014, maybe ever.

  16. R.O.B. says:

    In related news, the role of Wil Graham has also been recast. In season 3, Graham will be played by Dear Leader Km Jong Un. Most accomplished and blessed actor in all the universe and earth!

  17. rosio says:

    I’m a fan of both actors. They both are really good and underrated.
    Weird thing is… I wanted Joe Anderson to play Kurt Cobain in a bio pic and it was Michael Pitt who ended up playing a similar character in Last Days.
    As for Hannibal, I’m sure Joe will do the job and we’ll be happy with his acting. Fuller is never wrong.

  18. ASimpleGirl says:

    I’m disappointed Michael Pitt is departing Hannibal. But I must say, I’ve since watched a couple of interviews of Joe Anderson; and he’s a very likeable guy. I’m actually a little excited and have a lot of faith in him. As long as all those on set are happy and comfortable. Besides.. Gillian Anderson! Turn that frown upside down Fannibals!

  19. J.r. Babicki says:

    Horrible news!!! He was one of the major highlights of season 2! So disappointing.

  20. Barbara says:


  21. Ellie says:

    Such a bummer about Michael Pitt. He was so perfect as Mason Verger.

  22. N says:

    Michael was great

  23. kentuckywoman says:

    Haven’t watched this show in years…too bad they couldn’t recast “Hannibal” himself…. I loved the books and the movies, but the tv series rather sucks.

  24. Ibrahim says:

    Too bad!Pitt was so perfect for the role.anyways,lets wait for the thing!

  25. Benis says:

    Will Katherine Isabelle be back?

  26. jen says:

    i mean, i kind of doubted that michael pitt would want to spend that much time playing an incapacitated character who just sits in a bed day in and day out

  27. Jimmy says:

    This is disappointing because I loved Michael Pitt in the role. I think he and the actress who plays his sister Margo have a creepy kind of chemistry together, which works very well with their relationship being so messed up. But, this is Hannibal, so I’m sure Joe Anderson will be good in the role too. Really looking forward to season 3 starting!

  28. Would love to know Michael Pitt’s view on this…

  29. Rave says:

    No! No, this can’t be happening. Michael Pitt was perfect.

  30. Britta Unfiltered says:

    That suuuuuuucks. Now where else do I get to see Jimmy from Boardwalk Empire? I hear he’s kind of a hard actor to work with, and maybe that’s the real reason he’s not coming back, but I’ve only heard people talk about that online, so it’s not exactly reliable gossip. Michael Pitt made that character funny in a creepy way. He also made himself sound like Gary Oldman in the movie, which was kind of impressive.

  31. Longshot says:

    I’ve got to admit I’ve never seen one episode of this show but then don’t really watch many shows, I’m an old movie fan as in TCM. But what caught my eye off the internet highlight was the name Michael Pitt. The very first movie and role I ever saw him in became one of my favorites because of the era it was set in, The Dreamers. All the actors in that film intrigued me. Yes I know I’m off subject which is this TV series, sorry.

  32. Monica says:

    Booooooo this show was crap last season and it doesn’t seem to be getting better with this recast.

  33. Whoopie says:

    Don’t care. Minor character. If it was a recast for Hannibal or Will, then I might care.

  34. I think Michael Pitt did a great job, but Joe Anderson will do just as good. People had doubts when Mads became on Hannibal in the series and look how that has turned out, fantastic. Good luck Joe and welcome to Hannibal family!

  35. Donna says:

    I have to trust Bryan Fuller- he’s been spot on with his casting thus far! I will miss Pitt’s manic glee tho

  36. Dr Rocker says:

    Pitt rocked!

  37. Caleb says:

    Michael Pitt was perfect. That being said I’ve incredibly high standards for the new guy.That isn’t to say he cannot do it because Fuller said he wad amazing.