Denzel Washington Hannibal Netflix Movie: What We Know So Far

Tigran Asatryan What's on Netflix Avatar

denzel washington netflix movie hannibal

Denzel Washington at Cinemacon in April 2023 – Picture: Getty Images

Now that both the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes are over, Hollywood is starting to make new deals about upcoming projects again. One of Netflix’s latest deals is an upcoming historical drama about the ancient Carthaginian general Hannibal starring Denzel Washington.

Antoine Fuqua has been tapped to direct the yet-untitled movie. This will be a reunion between him and Washington, as they have previously worked together on several films, including Training Day and the Equalizer trilogy. Oscar nominee John Logan is writing the script for the movie. His works include such projects as Gladiator, The Aviator, Hugo, etc. Fuqua, Washington, Erik Olsen, and Adam Goldworm will produce. Jeremy Lott and Frank Moll exec produce.

The movie is coming out of the first-look partnership with Netflix, which was struck in 2020.

A Hannibal trilogy has been in the works for more than a decade with Vin Diesel starring as Hannibal and the actor has been teasing it as recently as 2021, but that didn’t seem to go anywhere. Interestingly, Diesel expressed his wish for Denzel Washington to play Hannibal’s father, but now Washington is attached to star as Hannibal himself.

What’s the plot of Hannibal?


Picture: Getty Images

The movie will follow the pivotal battles Hannibal led against the Roman Republic during the Second Punic War (218-201 B.C.). Atop an elephant, Hannibal came over the Alps and attacked Rome from the North, at the time posing the greatest threat to the republic. Hannibal was a skilled military tactician who led the troops in what is now Tunisia, not far from Sicily.

Who is cast in Hannibal?

DW headshot credit Brian Bowen Smith Variety 1

Picture: Variety for Getty Images

Denzel Washington has been attached to the project to star as Hannibal. No other cast members are known at this time. Washington is set to return to production on another major period tentpole with Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2, set to restart production shortly and dated for Thanksgiving 2024.

This will mark Washington’s first major appearance in a Netflix Original. Still, he has produced a couple of Original projects for the streamer beginning with Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Washington was interviewed in the companion documentary streaming on Netflix) which is one of Netflix’s few Oscar winners. Washington is also producing on Netflix’s The Piano Lesson. We also heard he was or still is in the running for another Netflix Original movie, but we can’t go into detail at this time.

What’s the production status of Hannibal?

The yet-untitled Hannibal movie is at the script writing stage, with John Logan working on the screenplay. In turn, as mentioned above, Washington has yet to finish his work on Gladiator 2, so filming for Hannibal won’t realistically begin until a few months into 2024.

What’s the Netflix release date for Hannibal?

Netflix hasn’t set a date for its upcoming Hannibal movie, but considering at which stage the production is, we can predict a potential 2025/2026 release for this one.

For those who can’t wait for more Denzel on your screens. Those in the United States and select other countries will soon be able to see a new Sony movie The Equalizer 3, set to make its SVOD premiere on the streamer in late 2023 or very early 2024 courtesy of the Sony first window deal.

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Tigran is our resident previews writer. He works on collecting everything known about upcoming Netflix Original projects and also is editor-in-chief of Redanian Intelligence. Resides in France.