This past Saturday, NBC called time on its chilling horror drama Hannibal. Chilling thanks to the hard work orchestrated by its creator Bryan Fuller, who adapted Thomas Harris’ novels into three seasons of mind-boggling brilliance, the likes of which rarely grace the small screen. Nevertheless, the network axed the show, making this weekend’s episode both the season and series finale.
Despite all the major networks and streaming outlets turning down the chance to snap up the show, Fuller remains cautiously optimistic on the future of the series. His faith in Lecter’s continued story is such, that in a recent batch of interviews to ring out Hannibal’s exit, he spoke on the subject of what that elusive season 4 might look like as he told Hitfix:
“Martha De Laurentiis is looking into financing for a feature film. The season 4 that we were going to tell is such a restart and reimagining that I still hope in some way that we get to tell a version of that, if not Silence of the Lambs itself, as a miniseries. I would love to return this cast to the big screen from whence they came, and Hannibal Lecter to the big screen, from whence he came. It seems perfectly symmetrical.”
“The story of the fourth season, which is a rebranding of the Will Graham/Hannibal Lecter relationship, that was very exciting. I looked at it and said, ‘This was actually the most interesting aspect of this story.’ So I regret we weren’t able to tell that. But who knows what the future may bring?”
Fuller went on to divulge a slew of story specifics to Crave Online concerning his take on Silence of The Lambs:
“I am imagining a parallel structure of Hannibal in the institution, with a severely scarred Chilton, now having returned to his post, and juxtaposing that, back in the heyday of Hannibal as a psychiatrist, perhaps even earlier than we met him the first time, when he had Benjamin Raspail as a patient, and weave that story in and around the modern day Silence of the Lambs tale as we know it.”
The second of Harris’ novels on Lecter was brought famously to the big screen by Jonathan Demme in 1990, with Anthony Hopkins as the incarcerated doctor, and Jodie Foster as fledgling FBI special agent Clarice Starling. We never see Raspail alive, as by that point in the story he’s long since been killed – but his fermented head does make a cameo. As for those living characters, he planned to cast Lee Pace as Buffalo Bill and had something different in mind for Starling:
“Well, there’s a couple of ways to go. There’s the Ellen Page way, which I think would be fantastic and more kind of in line with the Clarice that we all know. But I know I would also like to explore who Clarice would be from a different racial background. There’s something about being poor and white in the South but there’s something else about being poor and black in the South, and I think it could be the necessary gateway into the character, to make Clarice as much our own signature character as we tried to make Will Graham.”
At this stage, it’s exciting to just imagine the scenarios that Fuller would have placed these well-trod characters in. Throughout Hannibal‘s short run, the tendency to pack in unexpected shocks and jarring revelations worked as more than a gimmick, lifting the series into its own category. And while the future of Hannibal is currently uncertain, Fuller has faith that his tenure at Starz – where he is developing American Gods – may lead to its return.