Michael Pitt Talks I ORIGINS, a Possible Return to HANNIBAL, and Working With John Travolta on CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES

by     Posted 12 days ago

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I Origins is in select theaters after being picked up by Fox Searchlight at the Sundance Film Festival earlier in the year.  The film is an effective and affecting piece, gorgeously directed with some really great performances.  I had a few issues with the script here and there, but overall I left the theater feeling impacted in a pretty unique way.  But don’t take my word for it, read Adam Chitwood’s glowing review and check out the trailer if you’re unfamiliar with the project as a whole.

In the film, Michael Pitt plays PHD student Ian Gray, who is out to prove intelligent design to be a falsehood by demonstrating that the eye can undergo evolution.  Along the way he falls in love with both Sofi (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) and his lab partner, Karen (Brit Marling).  I sat down with Pitt in Los Angeles earlier this week to talk about his work on the film and how he calibrates his performance to play the same character at completely different points in his life.  We also discussed a potential return to the character of Mason Verger in Hannibal Season 3 as well as his upcoming movie with John Travolta, Criminal Activities.  Hit the jump for the interview (you can find my interview with Marling here).  I Origins is now playing in New York and Los Angeles.

Starz Developing AMERICAN GODS TV Show; Bryan Fuller and Michael Green to Act as Showrunners

by     Posted 30 days ago

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Though Neil Gaiman fans were surely disappointed to hear that HBO recently let its option on the novel American Gods lapse, there is now reason to rejoice.  Starz announced today that it will develop its own American Gods TV show, with Hannibal and Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller acting as showrunner alongside Heroes alum Michael Green.  The two will pen the pilot script for the adaptation, which revolves around a brewing war between the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots and the new gods reflecting society’s obsession with money, technology, media, celebrity, and drugs.  The crux of the story follows Shadow Moon, an ex-con who teams up with a conman traveling partner to gather forces in preparation for battle.

It’s certainly an ambitious undertaking (HBO’s plans involved a $35-40 million budget per season), but Fuller has shown his knack for creative genius time and time again, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how this comes together.  Hit the jump to read the full press release.

Bryan Fuller Talks HANNIBAL Season 3, Trying to Get David Bowie on the Show, Network Support, and More at the Saturn Awards

by     Posted 33 days ago

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The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror recently held the 40th Annual Saturn Awards, celebrating the best of genre film and television at the Castaway Starlight Ballroom in Burbank, Calif.  Gravity took home the most awards, with five statues, while Marvel’s Iron Man 3 won the inaugural Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture award, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead both won three, and Hannibal took home Best Network Television Series.  Special Saturn Awards recognitions when to writer/producer Bryan Fuller (Dan Curtis Legacy Award), Greg Nicotero (George Pal Memorial Award) and Malcolm McDowell (Life Career Award).

While at the event, Collider chatted with Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller, who talked about how they get away with what they get away with on Hannibal, why he considers it an art show, the directors that influence him, both in the past and for the upcoming season, the metaphor of Will Graham being a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster, that they’ll be breaking Season 3 into two chapters, that they were told by David Bowie’s people to check in again about his availability once they have the filming schedule for the third season, that he would love to get David Thewlis on the show, and how he’s been trying to get his Pushing Daisies cast on, as well.  Watch the video and/or read the transcript after the jump.

HANNIBAL Showrunner Bryan Fuller Talks Season 3, the Fallout from Season 2 Finale, Character Deaths, Filming Next Season in Europe, and More

by     Posted 57 days ago

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The twistedly haunting, creepy and unexpected NBC series Hannibal is one of the best shows currently on television.  With shocking revelations, psychological cat-and-mouse games, and intricately detailed murders, it certainly stays with you, long after it airs.  And with everyone’s lives in peril by the end of the Season 2 finale, there’s no telling who will still be a part of the show, when it returns for a very differently structured Season 3.

After a recent screening of the finale, held for Emmy nomination consideration and proving that this show is so cinematically beautiful that it should always be watched on the big screen, Collider was invited to chat with show creator Bryan Fuller.  During the interview, the executive producer/writer talked about when he knew what the Season 2 finale would be, that he likes to share information with the actors because he feels like it helps their performance, how the relationship with Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) will evolve next, having to understand Hannibal’s past to catch him in the present, introducing Lady Murasaki, Hannibal’s relationship with Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson), starting Season 3 in mid-October, shooting in Europe, and his hope to keep director David Slade around for awhile.  Check out what he had to say after the jump about Hannibal season 3, and be aware that there are spoilers.

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

by     Posted 65 days ago

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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 Renewed by NBC for Season 3

by     Posted 83 days ago

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Fannibals rejoice!  Creator Bryan Fuller’s twisted, hypnotic drama series Hannibal will return for a third season, TV Line has confirmed.  Though the show has a passionate fanbase and is a critical success, ratings for the horror drama have been incredibly low thanks to NBC burying the series on Friday nights.  That said, it ranks as the youngest 10pm drama on ABC, CBS, or NBC, making its audience an important draw for advertisers. I just hope the network can find a better timeslot home for the show next year, since this whole Friday business makes little sense for this kind of series.

Mads Mikkelsen does excellent work week-to-week as the titular Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and the show stands as the most gorgeously shot (and visually driven) show currently on television.  Hit the jump for more, including Fuller’s overall plan for the series.

Bryan Fuller Talks HANNIBAL, Where Will and Hannibal’s Relationship Is Headed, Editing for the Network and Censors, and Plans for Season 3

by     Posted 86 days ago

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The twistedly haunting, creepy and unexpected NBC series Hannibal is one of the best shows currently on television.  With shocking revelations, psychological cat-and-mouse games, and intricately detailed murders, it certainly stays with you, long after it airs.  From show creator Bryan Fuller, the series stars Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne, Caroline Dhavernas, Scott Thompson, Aaron Abrams and Laura Jean Chorostecki.

During this exclusive interview with Collider, the show’s grand master Bryan Fuller talked about where the relationship between Will Graham (Dancy) and Hannibal Lecter (Mikkelsen) is headed, how Hannibal pulls off all of his murders with no one being able to prove it, finding the right time to refer to him as “Hannibal the Cannibal,” deciding who would be the first of the team to get murdered and why, how much they’ve had to edit for the network and the censors, the evolution of the relationship between Hannibal and Alana Bloom (Dhavernas), the big showdown between Jack Crawford (Fishburne) and Hannibal, the approach to Mason (Michael Pitt) and Margo Verger (Katherine Isabelle), how excited he is to introduce Lady Murasaki in Season 3, the chances of NBC ordering a third season, and what the international ratings are like.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers

Bryan Fuller Talks HANNIBAL Season 3 Chances and Ratings Struggle; Says the Show’s Heightened Reality Is Polarizing

by     Posted 90 days ago

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NBC’s dark drama/horror series Hannibal continues to be one of the most consistently gorgeous and unsettling shows on TV.  Though the series is based on characters from Thomas HarrisRed Dragon novel, creator/showrunner Bryan Fuller has carved out a distinctly separate path for the story, led by fantastic performances from Hugh Dancy as Will Graham and Mads Mikkselen as the dangerous and cunning Dr. Hannibal Lecter.  The show’s current second season has only gotten more strange, abstract, and engrossing in the best way possible (it’s also the most visually driven series on TV), but the ratings from its Friday night broadcasts are very, very low.

The show earns significant ratings gains when DVR playback is added into the fold, but fans of the series are worried that NBC might bring down the axe and withhold a third season.  We recently spoke with Fuller about the chances of Hannibal returning for season three, and he confirmed that there is a “Plan B” should NBC not renew it.  He also discussed the ratings as a whole and how it’s literary nature is polarizing to viewers.  Read on after the jump.

Showrunner Bryan Fuller Talks HANNIBAL Season 2, the Shocking Opening Scene, Subverting the Canon, Trying to Cast David Bowie, and More

by     Posted 153 days ago

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The twistedly haunting, creepy and unexpected NBC series Hannibal has returned for its second season, with more shocking revelations and psychological cat-and-mouse games. Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is locked in a mental asylum, accused of Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s (Mads Mikkelsen) crimes and fighting to prove his own sanity while convincing those closest to him he is innocent of murder. From show creator Bryan Fuller, the series also stars Laurence Fishburne, Caroline Dhavernas, Hettiene Park, Scott Thompson, Aaron Abrams and Laura Jean Chorostecki.

During this exclusive interview with Collider, executive producer Bryan Fuller talked about the pressure of making the show worthwhile for the audience, making sure they do the best version of the show that they possibly can, why he focuses more on where they ended up with Season 1, instead of all the points along the way, pushing the boundaries even further this season, when they’ll return to the shocking opening scene, that they’ll be killing off some characters this season, playing with the change in position between Will Graham and Hannibal, creating their own face mask, having such great guest stars, and whether he’s had any luck in getting David Bowie on the show.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

HANNIBAL Season 2 Teaser Poster Is Appropriately Odd and Creepy

by     Posted 303 days ago

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NBC took a gamble last year with a straight-to-series order for a Hannibal Lecter TV show from Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller, and the result was 13 episodes of pure dramatic TV bliss.  With Hannibal, Fuller not only crafted an utterly captivating psychological thriller, but also a comment on the truly horrifying nature of violence and the subsequent desensitization of entertainment consumers.  It was a swell start to the series, and in anticipation of the upcoming second season, Fuller has unveiled a wonderfully creepy teaser poster that hints at a decidedly different Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) from season one.

Hit the jump to check out the poster and to see what Fuller has to say about its implications for the new season.  The 13-episode second season of Hannibal will kick off sometime early next year.

Creator Bryan Fuller Talks HANNIBAL Season 2 and Beyond; Plus When Does the RED DRAGON Storyline Come Into Play?

by     Posted 1 year, 40 days ago

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While it’s been a pretty regular occurrence over the past few years that the television shows on cable are far superior in nearly every way to those on network TV, one new show this past season renewed my faith that a compelling drama can still exist on one of the Big Four networks.  Pushing Daises creator Bryan Fuller tackled familiar source material for the NBC series Hannibal, but the show progressed in such a way that it quickly became my most anticipated program to watch each week.  Fuller and principal director David Slade crafted a wildly engrossing and moody take on the Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham relationship from Thomas Harris’ books, buoyed by masterful performances from Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy.

While the series wrapped up its 12-episode first season last night with a stellar finale, fans are now eagerly looking forward to how the story progresses in season two.  Fuller recently spoke quite frankly about where things will go in season two and beyond, even revealing at which point the Red Dragon storyline will kick in and his hopes to eventually tackle Silence of the Lambs.  Hit the jump to read on. [Warning: spoilers for the season one finale follow]

HANNIBAL Renewed For A Second Season; NBC Gives Stylish Drama 13 More Episodes

by     Posted 1 year, 62 days ago

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Hannibal fans, our time has come: after a cruelly long wait, NBC finally gave official word that their exceptional drama will return for 13 episodes next year.  However, the second season will not air before midseason (showing further signs of hesitation? Or just the realities of filming schedules?)

The Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) helmed series has gotten a decent push from the network during its freshman season, but has been up against veteran Thursday night anchors like Scandal, as well as popular new series like Elementary, potentially diminishing viewing numbers that might otherwise be robust.  Hit the jump for more about the ratings, and NBC’s commitment to the series.  Hannibal stars Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelson, Caroline Dhavernas and Laurence Fishburne.

Showrunner Bryan Fuller Talks HANNIBAL, the Show’s Inception, Gauging the Level of Violence, the Overall Series Plan, Using the RED DRAGON Storyline, More

by     Posted 1 year, 79 days ago

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One of the best written and best acted dramas currently on network (or any) television is Hannibal, from show creator Bryan Fuller.  Based on the characters from Thomas Harris’ classic novels, the series follows the unsettling relationship between psychiatrist-turned-serial-killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and gifted criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy).

During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, executive producer/writer Bryan Fuller talked about how the series came about, how he gauges the level of violence on the show, how he ended up with Dancy, Mikkelsen and Laurence Fishburne as his lead actors, how fascinating the character relationships are, that knowing the eventual destination of these characters is a huge gift, when Hannibal Lecter’s famous face mask could appear, how the Red Dragon story would come into play in Season 4, adding some female characters to the mix, how they decide what meals Dr. Lecter will prepare and serve, future romantic relationships for the serial killer, and what Gillian Anderson brings to the show.  He also talked about the possibility of a Kickstarter campaign for a Pushing Daisies movie.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

HANNIBAL Episode Recap: “œuf” and “Coquilles”

by     Posted 1 year, 97 days ago

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First of all, if you haven’t watched the clips from Hannibal‘s unaired fourth episode “œuf” do so now because I am going to talk about it along with “Coquilles.”  What I found so interesting about NBC’s “cannibalized” version (their pun!) of that controversial fourth episode is that by eliminating the Case of the Week, Hannibal turned into a really beautifully meditative character study.  It didn’t flow particularly smoothly (what a surprise since it was chopped up), but at the same time it was really hypnotic.  With all of the therapy sessions, it kind of reminded me of HBO’s In Treatment, plus hallucinations and eating humans.  While I also enjoyed “Coquilles,” the Case of the Week, which I thought was pretty weak, distracted from the better character moments.  Hit the jump for why I’m so excited I figured out what to do with that œ character … 

Watch the Repackaged HANNIBAL Episode 4 Now

by     Posted 1 year, 98 days ago

Last week it was announced that NBC would be pulling its new crime drama Hannibal‘s upcoming fourth episode “œuf” in the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy.  The episode’s Case of the Week was about children killing other children — something that had series creator Bryan Fuller asking to have it pulled completely while the series was still in production, after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.  The hesitation about the episode was already clear, as it didn’t appear in press packs for the series (the episode order of the press screeners went 1, 2, 3, 5, 6).

While the idea to cut the episode has been universally supported, Fuller wanted to make sure that fans were able to keep up with the character building in the episode that was separate from the crime, especially after last week’s surprising ending.  So NBC “cannibalized” the episode into webisodes for viewers, and put them online.  Hit the jump for the clips.

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