As far as TV cancellations go, there’s not many that are more disappointing than Hannibal. A small screen adaptation of Thomas Harris’ novels, it brought one of the most iconic characters in cinema to television in a show that was absolutely excellent in every way imaginable. Polished, superbly acted, intelligent and twisted in all the right ways, it was a delight to watch and as such, when it was given the axe after just three seasons, fans were devastated.
Since then, there’ve always been rumblings about Hannibal potentially returning for more, with creator Bryan Fuller remaining hopeful that he’ll get to continue telling his story one day. Last we heard, he was looking to bring the cast back to adapt The Silence of the Lambs, with Fuller saying the following in December:
“I think the film adaptation is a perfect film, but there’s a lot of interesting nooks and crannies to explore in a television series. I hope we get to tell the story. I think, ideally for the cast, it would be as a mini-series, here and there. Let’s do 6 to 8 episodes of that, and 6 to 8 episodes over here. And do it as an irregular thing.”
Unfortunately, nothing’s come to fruition just yet, but we do have another promising update today, as Fuller recently appeared on the Post Mortem podcast, where talk inevitably turned towards his cancelled television show. First up, he reflected on NBC’s decision to swing the axe, saying that he knew there wouldn’t be a fourth outing.
“It was very likely that there wouldn’t be a fourth season (after season three), because I felt like we were running out of rope and NBC had kept us on the air for three years with numbers that nobody would have kept us on the air for. So I’m very grateful for those three years, but I felt like it would be shocking if we got a fourth season and we didn’t… yet.”
None of that’s to say though that there will never be a season 4, as Fuller reveals that he’s been having conversations with the people who can make it happen.
“I have conversations with (Hannibal executive producer) Martha De Laurentiis. I have conversations with Mads and Hugh. We’re all excited about the prospect of returning to the story. There’s some hurdles to get through. The rights revert back to Martha in September I believe and then it’s a matter of do we do it with Gaumont (production company of Hannibal)? Which would be the only way to do it if we wanted to use those characters….”
Finally, Fuller spoke of one of his ideas for if the show ever returned, teasing us just ever so slightly of what we may potentially see one day.
“I just had a great idea for season 4… There’s an interesting next chapter in the relationship between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter that would be fascinating to unpack. I’ve shared it with the gentlemen and they’re both keen on it. There’s a whole storyline that I want to do with Katie Isabelle’s character Margot Verger, who we know is mother of the Verger air and in control of the Verger meat packing industry. I wanted her to be like Joan Crawford at Pepsi saying Don’t F*ck with me fellas” and just humanize all of the Verger meat packing plants and turn them over to PETA approved… That would definitely be marbled through the season, Margot Verger taking down the meat industry as a hot, powerful lesbian.”
We’d love to see Hannibal get a fourth season just as much as the next fan would, but if we’re being real, it’s probably not going to happen. Never say never, but it’d be very surprising if the show ever returned. Not only is Fuller now busy with American Gods, not to mention that the rest of the cast is tied up with other stuff, too, but as he mentioned above, the numbers just weren’t there to justify keeping it on the air.
Admittedly, that’s not always the kiss of death, as we’ve seen many previously cancelled shows be revived in recent years on streaming services like Netflix, but we wouldn’t hold out hope for Hannibal to get the same treatment. Still, it’s nice to hear that Fuller hasn’t given up on it just yet and maybe one day, someone will realize what a brilliant show this is and get it back on our screens.