NBC had a show unlike anything else on broadcast TV with Hannibal, and the three seasons of the series went in some astonishingly dark and twisty directions. Unfortunately for fans, the ratings were never particularly impressive, and NBC finally pulled the plug back in 2015. There has been talk over the past couple of years about a revival, but we haven't had much to go on. Now, showrunner Bryan Fuller has some promising words about a possible Season 4, saying this:
I have conversations with Martha De Laurentiis. I have conversations with Mads and Hugh. We're are 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. Then it's a matter of, 'Do we do it with Gaumont?' Which would be the only way to do it if we wanted to use those characters.
Bryan Fuller has evidently been discussing a fourth season with fellow former executive producer Martha De Laurentiis, who also produced the Hannibal Lector-centric films Hannibal and Red Dragon. Given that we're only a matter of months away fro De Laurentiis regaining the rights to the series, Season 4 has never felt so possible. Fuller's comments on the Post Mortem podcast indicate that he and De Laurentiis would need to work with the Gaumont Television production company if they wanted to use the same characters as they used in the show, but he doesn't seem to believe that would be a problem.
Luckily, Bryan Fuller seems to be pretty sure that stars Mads Mikkelson and Hugh Dancy would be on board to reprise their respective roles as Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham. The two spent three seasons crafting an uncomfortably compelling dynamic, and a Season 4 without both of them couldn't possibly work as well. Fuller went on to reveal part of why the cancellation after Season 3 was so difficult:
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.
All things considered, a Season 4 of Hannibal sounds like a real possibility. The production team has had to wait two years after the last airing of the show to explore options for another batch of episodes. The streaming rights for Hannibal at the time of its cancellation belonged to Amazon, and a deal for a fourth season at Amazon simply couldn't be worked out.
The end result was that other streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu couldn't step in and save the series as the rights were still held by Amazon. With those rights reverting by September, the Hannibal team may need to simply find a new home and work out the schedules of everybody involved. While we shouldn't start planning the menus for our viewing parties just yet, a Season 4 could actually happen relatively soon, and hopefully without piracy.
That said, both Mads Mikkelson and Hugh Dancy have kept busy in the past few years. Mikkelson has had key roles on the big screen with Doctor Strange and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Dancy headed to Hulu for The Path. For his part, Bryan Fuller has been hard at work on Starz' American Gods. We'll have to wait and see if and when filming could possibly commence. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV news, and don't forget to check out our summer TV premiere schedule to discover all your viewing options now and in the coming weeks. Be sure to drop by our rundowns for cable/streaming and broadcast TV renewals and cancellations as well.