Unfortunately, it’s probably not Hannibal Lecter.
As much as we hate to say it, there probably is a silver lining to Hannibal ending prematurely: it frees Mads Mikkelsen to play other roles. The man is a tremendous actor, so when it was revealed he had a part in Star Wars: Rogue One it was difficult not to be excited. Of course, we all assumed he would be playing a villain (whether it be Imperial or otherwise), but that in fact may not be the case.
How do we know that?
In a recent interview with the Danish Paper Ekstra Bladet, Mikkelsen offered a brief insight into his role and the filming process:
“It is very important role, a much I can say. No, my character is actually not a bad guy, and then I can not say more. I can also say that the movie will be shot in Iceland and England. And the filming will last for three months.”
What does this mean?
We’re not entirely sure what he means with the three months comment. It could either mean he’s working on the production for three months or the shoot will simply last that amount of time regardless of his participation. However, for the sake of discussion we’re willing to go with the former. If is working on the film for three months of production, that’s no small part. We imagine he’ll be in the film for a solid chunk of its running time, so expect him to be a big supporting playing.
So, who could he be playing?
Well, we know he isn’t a bad guy. However, that doesn’t necessarily make him a white hat. Remember that the Star Wars universe is full of grey characters that stood neutral during the Galactic Civil War. It’s very possible he’ll be playing a smuggler, an information broker, a gangster, or any number of characters who could serve an important function in the story without being affiliated with the Empire or the Rebels.
In the expanded universe, the smuggler and information broker Talon Karrde was notoriously neutral. In Heir to the Empire, he would often play both sides against each other for his own benefit until he had no choice but to ally exclusively with the New Republic.
If that’s the case, we can very much see Mikkelsen being a character Felicity Jones’ character must trust to smuggle her team into an area so they can steal the Death Star plans. He may not be a guy they can trust, but at the right price perhaps he won’t rat them out. Over the course of the story, maybe we’ll see him have a character arc that’ll end with him helping the team over the Empire.
It’s really too soon to say, but we’re very excited he’s in the film. Overall, the cast is second to none.