Michael Pitt, Joe Anderson Michael Pitt, Joe Anderson

When NBC's gruesome psychological horror Hannibal returns for Season 3, it'll bring with it a new face for an old character. And not just because the character in question literally cut off pieces of his face and ate them during one of Season 2's most horrific moments.

Actor Michael Pitt, who played sociopathic sadist Mason Verger, is leaving the series, TV Line reports. Apparently the decision to depart was Pitt's.

TV shows you should be watching

But the character isn't going with Pitt, as Mason has already been recast. The River's Joe Anderson will take over the role. Anderson has also appeared in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 as Alistair, and recently played the lead in WEtv's The Divide.

Normally, swapping actors in a role would cause all sorts of continuity problems for a television show, but the exchange should actually go quite smoothly. Because Mason ended up disfigured through self mutilation influenced by Dr. Lecter's hallucinogenic drugs, Anderson will play the part under gobs of prosthetic makeup and barely be recognizable.

NBC has yet to announce a premiere date for Season 3, but it is expected to debut in early 2015.

Are you OK with this recasting?

Best of the Year: Check out our 10 favorite LGBT characters