Showrunner Bryan Fuller Talks HANNIBAL Season 3; Says Story Will Pull from HANNIBAL and HANNIBAL RISING

     May 27, 2014


What an extraordinary week for television these past seven days have been.  Not only did we get that spectacular mid-season finale for Mad Men, but also a brilliant season two finale for The Americans and then, of course, the shocking, violent conclusion to Hannibal season two.  Despite airing on network television, the latter series has been one of the most consistently twisted and challenging shows on all of TV, and this was especially true of last Friday’s season two finale.

The events of the episode will no doubt have drastic effects on the show’s third season, and creator/showrunner Bryan Fuller recently spoke quite candidly about his plans for season three, adding that it will pull story elements from the Thomas Harris novels Hannibal and Hannibal Rising.  He even teased a fan-favorite character promotion and discussed the first episode of season three—which he dubs a “new pilot”—in detail.  Read on after the jump.  Obviously spoilers for the season two final follow.

hannibal-season-3-gillian-andersonSpeaking specifically about the final scene of Hannibal season two, which saw Hannibal and Gillian Anderson’s Bedelia in cahoots and on a plane together, Fuller told IGN that Bedelia’s agenda will be addressed in the first episode back:

“Well, I think we can assume that some communication [with Hannibal and Bedelia] happened between episode 12 [and the finale] — between her capture by the FBI and the time she got on the flight. So, part of that, the fun in that, will be revealed in the first episode of Season 3 – exactly why she was on that plane, what is her agenda, and how she fits into the bigger story of Season 3. That’s all going to be wrapped up in that first episode of Season 3, which will function almost like a pilot for a new series.” 

hannibal-season-3-mads-mikkelsenThough Anderson leads a series of her own with The Fall, Fuller says his aim is to bring her into the fold full time for Hannibal season three:

“We are hoping, depending on Gillian’s schedule, that she would be a regular, but that’s all down to negotiation and her availability, and that sort of thing. But, you know, I went into Season 2 wanting Gillian to be a series regular and that’s definitely the intention going into Season 3, is that we would love a lot more of Gillian Anderson, because that’s never a bad thing.”

Anderson is currently filming season two of The Fall, so if Hannibal doesn’t go back into production until late this fall or early winter, one imagines she might be able to become a regular part of the Hannibal family, which is certainly good news.

Fuller went on to say that as of right now, the season three premiere will be Hannibal-Bedelia centric, adding that audiences won’t even know who survived the season two finale until episode two.

hannibal-season-3-laurence-fishburneThe creative mind behind Hannibal hasn’t been shy in revealing his overall plans for the series, and while he initially envisioned the show as a seven-season arc, he’s now thinking the series might end after six:

“Well, as we’ve gotten further into this series, I’ve collapsed a couple of seasons in my mind now. As in, ‘I don’t think we would be able to sustain the 13 episodes for that arc that I thought we would have’ and ‘perhaps it’s better to collapse this season and this season into one.’ So, I’m really thinking a six-season arc, and that really keeps us from treading water.”

As for how season three ties into the Thomas Harris books, Fuller has previously stated his intention to tackle Red Dragon in season four, so for the third season he tells TV Guide that he plans to draw from two different books:

“Season 3 is going to be a lot of fun because it’s going to be taking a lot of disparate elements from the novel Hannibal Rising and the novel Hannibal and mashing them up together as part of the thrust of the season. It’s going to be fun to bastardize two novels into one sort of Frankenstein season. I will brace everybody right now: We’re significantly changing the Hannibal origin story from Hannibal Rising.

hannibal-season-3-hugh-dancyThough Fuller will be deviating from the source material, he still plans on bringing in a couple of other characters that fans of the books will recognize:

“The books won’t necessarily be in sequential order. We’ll be hitting elements of each of them except Silence of the Lambs in the next season. My hope is that not only do we have a completely different Hannibal Lecter story in Season 3, but we will meet some of those great characters like Francis Dolarhyde and Lady Murasaki and weave them into the world in a unique way.”

Fuller has also stated his intention to revisit the Vergers, and given all that’s been said about season three, it appears that we’re in for yet another wild ride when Hannibal returns next year.



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  • erasmus654


    DAMN IT..

    • Én

      Graham and Crawford obviously survived.
      I think Alana will survive… at least for one or two seasons.
      Abi died, I think, because in this way the two seasons would show a kind of mirror pattern: the first part of season one – Abi in blood, and the last part of season two – Abi in blood again presented in the same situation. But who knows…
      I would be happy to enjoy pieces of the original soundtrack from the first movie, Manhunter (1986), in the following seasons. They offer an incredible atmosphere. It would be fantastic to enjoy them in this unique show.

      • rick

        Why is Crawford surviving obvious? He got stabbed in the neck and was bleeding out for near 30 minutes.

      • TheMattedScreen

        im inclined to agree here, as much as I want him alive for continuity of the books – as they’ve proven with Chilton, anyone can die at any time…

      • LockIce

        Did you not hear? Chilton is not dead.

      • TheMattedScreen

        Ha! I hadn’t heard, if true, then not surprised

      • LockIce

        He will be the main course during some episode. Trust me.

    • LEM

      Check their IMDB or casting news and see if they have other work lined up. Fishburne is on “Black-ish” on NBC so he may be a goner.

  • HeSaidSheSaidMv

    No more Verger siblings please. They served no purpose whatsoever.

    • World’s Finest Comments

      No, other than to be the only people to actually DESERVE Hannibal’s wrath.

    • Bhammer100

      If everything works the way Fuller wants… the Vergers will be back next year. They are a big part of the series.

      • HeSaidSheSaidMv

        Big part of the series? They’re in one movie.

      • Bhammer100

        Yeah. So what? Will Graham was only in one movie/book. Fuller has just made him a bigger part of this series.

        Ok. The Verger’s may not be a BIG part of the series but they are an important part. They introduced them to have more emotional weight when they show up next season. I thought they were great. Michael Pitt was amazing. He made the role his own while also integrating Gary Oldman’s performance into it.

    • Mike

      They introduced them so that when they cover the material in the book “Hannibal” it is a bit more intense as you now know Mason, and got to see the events unfold as opposed to having one flashback of him cutting off his face as we saw in this season.

      It was really smart to incorporate what they did. Though I agree that as a stand alone season the inclusion of the Vergers could be seen as just for shock-factor.

      • HeSaidSheSaidMv

        If they were going to introduce them, then do just that. What they did was introduce them and shove them down the audiences throats, putting the main storyline aside for 5 episodes, then discarded them when they went back to the main storyline. They went from a 0 to a 10 back to a 0. They literally had nothing to do with the main arc of the season.

    • BigJimSlade

      The Verger stuff almost made me give up on the show.

      The overacting blonde guy ruined every moment he was on the screen the second he opened his mouth. By the time he met his fate it felt like the show had turned to a bad parody of what it was. Between him and Gillian, I think Hannibal wasted about 30 minutes of this season on really bad dramatic pauses.

      • HeSaidSheSaidMv

        I don’t easily give up on shows I enjoy, but they were nothing but a distraction, especially him. He was terrible.

      • David

        I disagree with your point on Pitt overacting as Verger. That character in the source material is over the top insane. He trained pigs to eat people. He is being faithful to the character, and him being so over the top is what detered Hannibal so much.

  • DoremusJessup

    As long as Mads Mikkelson is back, that is all this show really needs. The rest of the cast is spot on, but with Fuller’s visual skills I would be content with watching Hannibal cook dinner for an hour straight.

  • DoremusJessup

    Quickly turning into the sharpest show on television (or HBO).

  • LEM

    Hannibal, with no change to his appearance, is on a plane to another country with frozen passports with a woman he intended to murder and eat who herself should still be in FBI custody.

    • Andy Warth

      “frozen passports”

      Do you really think they are using they true passports?

      Like really?

      • LEM

        Obviously not but he did nothing to change his appearance either. I guess I’m giving more credit to the TSA than they deserve.

  • twintosser

    love the show but no mention I had read that Fuller had intended to have David Tennant play a serial killer in season2 – since he was not there – maybe in 3? and What about David Bowie are they still reaching out to the singer to play Hannibal’s uncle?

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  • Gettalife

    It’s pedantic, I know, but I was getting increasingly annoyed every time I saw “based on characters from Tom Harris’ Red Dragon” when the Verger siblings are FROM Tom Harris’ 3rd book ‘Hannibal’…

    In summary, I need to get a life.

    Bryan Fuller recently spoke quite candidly about his plans for season three, adding that it will pull story elements from the Thomas Harris novels Hannibal and Hannibal Rising.
    Bryan Fuller recently spoke quite candidly about his plans for season three, adding that it will pull story elements from the Thomas Harris novels Hannibal and Hannibal Rising.
    Bryan Fuller recently spoke quite candidly about his plans for season three, adding that it will pull story elements from the Thomas Harris novels Hannibal and Hannibal Rising.

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  • rick

    So do they have rights to Clarice?

    They don’t have the rights to Silence of the Lambs, I know that, but they do have rights to Hannibal, which Clarice is a main character in.

    • Bhammer100

      No. Clarice was introduced in Silence of the Lambs. Any character introduced in Silence they can’t use.

  • Rik

    Wasn’t pleased Chilton died being he lived years later even though the way they wrote it was good. Crawford dying would be much of the same problem but being it is their own take on it it makes sense even if it ruins the mythology a bit. Michael Pitt was horrendous acting wise as Mason Verger until he cut himself up. Was hoping that was the end of him since nothing more needed there. He kept trying to imitate Heath Ledger’s Joker and failed miserably. Worst acting he ever did too. Great show regardless.

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