NBC’s cult hit show “Hannibal” was recently renewed for a third season after being on the chopping block.
During a panel for the show Saturday evening at the Paley Center in New York City, which included cast members Caroline Dhavernas, Laurence Fishburne, Mads Mikkelsen, and Hugh Dancy, showrunner Bryan Fuller was asked about his longterm plan for the series and how malleable that plan is.
Previously, Fuller revealed a 7-season plan for the series about cannibal Doctor Hannibal Lecter; however, he told a packed audience that is getting shorter.
He currently has a six-season plan for the thriller.
We deviated a little bit from the plan for the third season because originally it was going to be the season where Hannibal was abroad and then as we sort of started breaking that story out we realised, ‘OK, in order to make that last an entire season, we’re going to have to tread water for a couple of episodes.’ If we have 13 episodes, we have no business treading water. So, I thought, let’s wrap ‘Red Dragon’ into the third season and then actually do a Red Dragon miniseries. So, that changed a little bit so that 7-episode plan … or 7-series plan became a 6-series plan because those seasons kind of collapsed into each other in a way that they actually fuel their own stories and it felt organic. That was one of the places where I was like, let’s change the plan.
Earlier in the evening, Fuller spoke about the direction of season 3, which will air on NBC next year.
“What’s interesting about the third season is that every episode is kind of a little movie so it’s almost like the first episode is a pilot for a show that’s just about Bedelia [Du Maurier] and Hannibal’s relationship,” said Fuller.”
The showrunner also revealed a few new characters who will be joining season 3 including Molly, who eventually becomes Will Graham’s wife, and an adaptation of Lady Murasaki who will be played by actress Tao Okamoto.
“Tao Okamoto, who is an amazing actress, you may know her from ‘The Wolverine,’ she’s a young woman and we were very excited when she was interested in the role,” said Fuller. “Lady Murasaki is an older woman so we shifted the character. It’s the same story but the character is Chio which is also from the literature who was Lady Murasaki’s attendant. So, we are expanding that character and her history with Hannibal.”
The biggest character fans want to see is an adaptation of Clarice Starling from “Silence of the Lambs.” The character was played by Jodie Foster in Oscar-winning 1991 film adaptation and Julianne Moore in a 2001 sequel. However, the show has to get the rights for the character from MGM, something that has proven difficult so far.
Fuller told audiences he remains hopeful.
“We’re going to try. Every season we ask them,” said Fuller. “The first season and the second season they were like … ‘It was No’ … an annoyed ‘No.’ And then the third season they were like, well not this year, but ask again next year.”
Producer Martha DeLaurentis has previously said at San Diego Comic-Con if the series can’t get the rights, then they will do their “own mash-up” workaround.
Laurence Fishburne added, ‘They like the show and they see that the show has given life to the material again.”
“Hannibal” returns to NBC next year. No official return date has been announced.