How Bryan Fuller Wants Hannibal To Come Back


NBC debuted a show unlike anything else on network television in 2013 with the psychological horror series Hannibal. It was an origin story of sorts for Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who many knew as the surprisingly classy cannibal from Silence of the Lambs. Mads Mikkelsen made the role of Hannibal his own, and the cast, rounded out by Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne, and Gillian Anderson, delivered delightfully creepy performances on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, the show got the ax from NBC in 2015, but showrunner Bryan Fuller has an idea for how Hannibal could come back to the small screen, saying this:

I think, ideally for the cast, it would be as a mini-series, here and there. Let's do six to eight episodes of this, and six to eight episodes over here. And do it as an irregular thing.

Any kind of renewal would be welcome news for fans, especially considering how the third season ended. Bryan Fuller and Co. didn't actually know that Hannibal would be cancelled until the last episode of Season 3 was already finished, and viewers were left with a huge cliffhanger that put the lives of both protagonists in jeopardy. Fuller's pitch on the Shock Waves podcast for an occasional miniseries could be a great way to continue the series without requiring commitments for an ongoing show. Who knows? Maybe Hannibal could be the next Sherlock and come back with a new batch of episodes every few years. If Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman could find the time for Sherlock, we can cross our fingers and hope that Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy could find the time for more Hannibal.

Bryan Fuller actually had hopes to bring Hannibal back to resolve the cliffhanger shortly after the cancellation from NBC. He shopped the show around to other networks and platforms, but to no avail. Although the producers evidently came close to a deal with Amazon, they didn't believe that they could produce a Season 4 in the timeframe that Amazon wanted. It's possible that the miniseries format could have more appeal to networks and/or streaming platforms.

That said, we'll have a while to wait before we even stand a chance of more episodes of Hannibal. Bryan Fuller has come out and revealed that the rights to the characters will only become available after two years have passed following the series finale on NBC. The show ended in August 2015; the soonest that Fuller and Co. could begin work to revive Hannibal is August 2017.

Still, there is a great deal of potential for another batch of Hannibal episodes. Bryan Fuller and the team actually had a plan in place for Season 4, so a continuation might be as simple as finding a network and getting the actors back on board. The story may be the easiest part of the whole affair.

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Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).