Hannibal has found its Mason Verger: Boardwalk Empire's Michael Pitt. Fans of Thomas Harris' book series and/or Ridley Scott's film adaptation (though really, did anyone actually like that?) know the character is pivotal in Hannibal lore as one of Lecter's most infamous victims. In the book Verger is Lecter's former patient, a wealthy pedophile who eventually falls prey to the good doctor's knife. He survives horribly mutilated and emerges as the story's main antagonist in his plot to lure Lecter to his compound to return the favor.

The character is sadistic and unstable, two qualities Pitt displayed a knack for in Michael Haneke's brutal thriller Funny Games even though most know him as Nucky Thompson's doomed prodigal son. Since Hannibal is a prequel to the events of Harris' books, audiences will be treated to Verger and Lecter's first meeting when the character debuts late in the upcoming second-season, and their interaction is said to unfold as "a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse."

Interestingly, Verger's sister Margot has also been cast—she'll be portrayed by relative newcomer Katharine Isabelle. In the book Margot serves as Mason's bodyguard in the present even as their twisted, very dark and disturbing past is revealed. Ridley Scott's film shied away from those details and the character herself, but apparently series creator Bryan Fuller isn't pulling any punches. Hannibal season two premieres on February 28 on NBC.

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[via EW]