Fannibals the world over were dealt a crushing blow ten days ago when NBC canceled its critically acclaimed Silence of the Lambs prequel series Hannibal amid low ratings, and there’s more bad news today about the show’s future.
Though chatter has suggested that Amazon could swoop in and rescue the beloved horror-drama, there’s been no update on that front, and now Deadline reports that stars Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen are no longer under contract to appear in a fourth season.
Their options expired at the end of June and, with Hannibal‘s future so up in the air, Gaumont International Television chose not to renew them. That leaves Dancy and Mikkelsen as free agents for the time being, and they’re reportedly already fielding offers for TV and film projects.
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Luckily, there’s a silver lining – Gaumont remains committed to discussions with other potential distributors, and both actors have indicated that they are fans of the show and would love to return provided new deals can be signed.
Still, Hannibal‘s future looks bleaker by the day. The streaming agreement that the series already has with Amazon has language that makes any deal with another streaming service like Netflix essentially impossible. And creator Bryan Fuller, largely seen as the mastermind behind the series, has boarded Starz’s American Gods, which was recently ordered for a first season. Any distributor would have to be comfortable waiting for Fuller to finish work on that series before leaping back into the world of Hannibal.
The fact remains that, with a rabid fan base, critical acclaim and a wealth of source material that could power the show through multiple seasons, Hannibal stands a very good chance of getting revived outside of NBC. It’s just troubling to see that it’s taking this long for Gaumont to hammer out a deal – and the longer it waits, the harder it may be to put the series’ myriad pieces back together.