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Exclusive: Bryan Fuller on HANNIBAL’s Upcoming “Fun” Third Season

Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal has defied all odds by getting renewed for a third season by NBC. I caught up with the producer — as cheery as his series is dark — at last week’s Saturn Awards, where he won the Dan Curtis Legacy Award. After his win, Fuller chatted with me backstage about what fans can expect when the Mads Mikkelsen-starring Hannibal returns next season.

Regarding whether Hannibal‘s third season will take its censor-straining shocks to new limits, Fuller told me, “What’s interesting about going into a third season is that we have laid so many bricks on our road that now we get to follow the path Hannibal’s going to be traveling abroad. There’s never been any sort of edict about going further as much as there has been just honoring the show, and honoring the spirit of Thomas Harris’ literature. So the challenge for us is just to keep ourselves interested and hopefully the audience will be sitting right beside us.”

With Hannibal now a welcome presence in so many homes, is it increasingly difficult to maintain the show’s sinister edge?

“It is,” said Fuller. “What is interesting is we’re kind of a meditation on grief in a way. So there’s a certain darkness inherent in the show, but there’s also an incredibly dark humor at the same time that is very satisfying. We’ll be exploring more of that in the third season where we’ll have a little more levity and embracing of the absurdity of the situation that’ll be, I think, infectiously fun.”


Fuller also confirmed that we’ll see new characters from Thomas Harris’ books in upcoming episodes.

“Absolutely. We’re gonna be seeing [Hannibal’s Japanese aunt] Lady Murasaki. We’re going to be seeing [Rinaldo] Pazzi, who is the Italian detective from Hannibal. And Cordell, who is the doctor of Mason Verger. So there are a few from the literature that we’re going to be exploring in the third season.”

The writer-producer added that despite Hannibal‘s renewal, he’s still approaching the show one season at a time.

“It’s kind of season by season. I feel like we are very grateful for every season that we get, considering that our ratings aren’t great. We have incredible support from the network and studio. So hopefully that will keep us buoyant…”

What characters from Thomas Harris’ novels would you like to see on Hannibal? (Aside from Clarice Starling of course.) Let us know in the comments below.

Images: NBC

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  1. Rodaina says:

    I would love to see Emily Perkins ( Ginger snaps)  in Hannibal.She did a great job in Dead like me. 

  2. charlotte says:

    Hannigram,thank u !

  3. Kuyler says:

    Would love to see Francis Dolarhyde but can anyone fill Ralph Fiennes shoes? Says the girl who fell head over heals for Mikkelsen’s and Dancy’s portrayal of their characters. 

  4. Sarreq says:

    “The writer-producer added that despite Hannibal‘s renewal, he’s still approaching the show one season at a time.”
    that seems about right, as he’s not has a series survive beyond season 2 before

  5. CKG says:

    I want to see Molly Foster more than anything.

  6. Unpopular Opinion Man says:

    I’d actually prefer if they didn’t introduce Clarice actually.I like Will and I’d rather not see him become a background character that you don’t see too often (while Clarice goes straight to center stage).

  7. Kate Hughes says:

    Dolarhyde would be great to see, but in order to see him we have to assume that our boy Hannibal would be in jail…. and I am not ready for that just yet. I’m more interested in some free range rude.

    • Unpopular Opinion Man says:

      I think Fuller said he was considering introducing Dolarhyde in Season 3 (the first kill in Season 1 was supposed to be Dolarhyde).
      Would love it if they could get David Tennant for Dolarhyde.He actually originally auditioned for the part of Hannibal (I love Tennant but he’s not Hannibal. Mads is the perfect Hannibal.) and while it would’ve been interesting a Scottish skinny Hannibal wouldn’t of worked nearly as well.

    • Corby Daniel says:

      I can envision a version of Red Dragon where Will and Jack are pursuing this new killer in the States while Hannibal is abroad having his own parallel story.  

  8. anotherHannibalsFan says:

    What about Buffalo Bill or Francis Dolarhyde?

  9. The Dragon says:


  10. Carter Pinnix says:

    Would love to see any of the characters from Black Sunday.