Bryan Fuller Talks NBC’s HANNIBAL and STAR TREK TV Series Reboot

     April 19, 2012


Though the wonderfully inventive series Pushing Daisies was cancelled way before its time, creator/executive producer Bryan Fuller is coming back to television with two new series.  The first is a reboot of The Munsters for NBC called Mockingbird Lane, and the second is a small screen incarnation of novelist Thomas Harris’ infamous character Hannibal.  Fuller recently revealed a few details regarding the latter, including sex changes for a couple characters and his intention to do a cable model on network television with 13-episode seasons.  Moreover, Fuller gave a brief update on his plans for a TV series reboot for Star Trek.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

bryan-fuller-hannibalThough the all-important role of Dr. Lecter has yet to be cast, we recently learned that Hugh Dancy will take on the role of FBI agent William Graham.  Speaking with EW, Fuller confirmed that he’s using bits of backstory found in Harris’ Red Dragon as the basis for the first few seasons of Hannibal.  The show will follow Lecter and Graham working side-by-side solving crimes, with the latter none the wiser about Lecter’s serial killing pastime:

“It’s before he was incarcerated, so he’s more of a peacock. There is a cheery disposition to our Hannibal. He’s not being telegraphed as a villain. If the audience didn’t know who he was, they wouldn’t see him coming. What we have is Alfred Hitchcock’s principle of suspense — show the audience the bomb under the table and let them sweat when it’s going to go boom. So the audience knows who Hannibal is so we don’t have to overplay his villainy. We get to subvert his legacy and give the audience twists and turns.”

The story will begin as this sort of “buddy” procedural following two highly intelligent men solving crimes, but Fuller plans to completely change the dynamic of the series once Lecter is outed as a serial killer.  It’s an incredibly ambitious plan, especially for network television, and I can’t think of anyone better than Fuller to put it all together.

hannibal-anthony-hopkins-edward-nortonFuller revealed that he pitched a seven-season arc to NBC, including stories from various Harris books.  He’s also switching up the gender of a few characters (in a commendable reference to Battlestar Galactica, Fuller calls this gender swapping “Starbucking”), as Dr. Alan Bloom will now become Dr. Alana Bloom and tabloid journalist Freddy Lounds is now tabloid blogger Fredricka Lounds.

Though Fuller will certainly have his hands full running Hannibal and Mockingbird Lane, the innovative scribe hasn’t given up for plans to reboot a fan favorite series at some point in the future:

Bryan [Singer] and I are big fans of [Star] Trek and have discussed a take on what we would do, and we would love to do it. I don’t think anything is going to happen in any official capacity until after the next movie comes out. And I’m sure it would be wisely under J.J. Abrams’ purview of what happens. He’s the guardian of Trek right now.”

Fuller and Singer have been hoping to bring Star Trek back to the small screen for a few years now, and Fuller got his start writing on Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.  However, things likely won’t move ahead until Paramount has exhausted the latest film franchise incarnation of the series.  Given that most franchises are done in threes as of late, maybe Fuller and Singer could get their turn after Abrams makes a third and final film?

Around The Web
  • Kirk Picard

    Aww, hell no. Don’t reboot the origina Star Trek series, just come up with a new story.

  • renner

    “I don’t think anything is going to happen in any official capacity until after the next movie comes out. And I’m sure it would be wisely under J.J. Abrams’ purview of what happens. He’s the guardian of Trek right now.”

    Do you think he’s aware that 2 separate studios hold the rights to the Star Trek Film and TV franchise?Paramount owns the film series, while CBS own the TV series.They operate independently and don’t really have anything to do with each other.

    If they were to make a Star Trek TV series, JJ Abrams wouldn’t be involved with it.That would be CBS’ project, not Paramount’s.And why would they wait until after the next movie comes out?CBS doesn’t have to follow anything that’s happened in the recent movie series.Hell, because Paramount owns the movies and their new continuity and storylines, I don’t believe CBS would even be able to use any of those concepts.It doesn’t belong to them.

    I think it’s a better idea to keep those franchises separate.Let Paramount’s film series continue with this alternate timeline, while the CBS TV series can make a new show that remains in the original timeline.

    CBS has no stock in those movies, so why should they wait until their finished to do their own project?

    • valo66

      no paramount own startrek fullstop they lease the rights to air the shows on cbs in the usa and uk they also lease the rights to syfy bskyb netflix amazon and hulu cbs have no say in any production

  • skotchx

    Sir. Step away from the reboot. Think about the children.

  • Mo

    Seven seasons? Gimme a break. After Graham ID’s Lecter he should just be concerned with putting a bullet in him.

    • EV M

      Tell me about it. As exemplified by the THE X-FILES THE SOPRANOS, LOST, DEXTER, etcetera , no network is interested anymore in a series that hits, peaks, and then fades out at its story’s natural end-point without maxing out all its revenue streams!

  • EV M

    The HANNIBAL series is obviously an update and a reboot, aiming to establish its own canon — since the reporter character appeared in the RED DRAGON movie played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and now the character’s going to be a blogger, since the web is the new supermarket checkout rack and TMZ is the new Enquirer.

  • Warpcrafter

    No more Star Trek reboots! Don’t do it! Try and come up with something original, DAMMNIT!!!

  • MR.Rich316

    This Hannibal series sounds like it will be Dexter light.

  • rob

    Hannibal is a ‘buddy procedural drama? really?

    Deep in a TV network development office:

    Exec 1:”It’s kinda like ‘white collar’ meets “Dexter”.
    Exec 2:”I like it. how do we make it appeal to the 12-18 demo?”
    Exec 1:”Let’s make Hannibal cool and sexy. We can cast Ian Sommerholder as Hannibal, he’s so hot right now and we’ll pull in a larger female audience too.”
    Exec 2:I Like it, I like it… but it needs something else…
    Exec 3:”Lets make it dark and ‘gritty’. Kind of like Nolan’s Batman. ground it in reality, you know lots of shaky cam”
    Exec 1:Ok, this is really coming together nicely… anything else?”
    Exec 2:”Bat for Lashes will do the soundtrack – maybe get a duet with Taylor swift on the theme song. We’ll make a killing on iTunes.”
    Exec 1: “The song should be called “what’s eating you?”
    Exec 2 (clapping his hands in joy) “LOVE”
    Exec 3, “Hannibal can have his own twitter feed and Facebook page! and we could make an app, that gives you a GPS location of all his victims, so viewers can help solve the mystery of where he puts the bodies.”
    Exec 2: “Doesn’t he eat them”
    Exec 3: “too 90′s this needs to be PG14. He can become a cannibal at the end of the run – the last shot.
    Exec 1:” Cool. Let’s green light that! someone call Brian Fuller. ”
    Exec 2: Lets see if Tony Hopkins is around for a cameo in the pilot.


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