The future of NBC’s Hannibal has been cloudy of late, but its clear presence at Comic-Con 2015 should send a message on the show’s enduring fandom. Bryan Fuller and co. took the stage to preview Hannibal’s delectable future, including its Season 4 fate and the upcoming Red Dragon saga, and we have your full report.

  • Red Dragon time, baby! The new trailer shows off Richard Armitage’s Francis Dolarhyde at work, lovingly eyeing a William Blake painting and sculpting his leaner body in the attic. There looks to be a stronger physicality at work than Ralph Fiennes’ original version, a leaner, meaner, darker interpretation of the character, seen when he gets the dragon tattoo applied, or looks over his grizzly dentures.

  • Other footage from the promo finally saw a slightly-cleaned up Hannibal in his new cell, visited by Will over the Tooth Fairy’s murders. Dolarhyde breaks into Hannibal’s old office and shares phone conversations with his new mentor, honored that Hannibal Lecter would take an interest in him. Chilton warns, “The young Turk may inspire the old Lithuanian to keep himself interesting.”

  • We also see Bedelia in her first encounters with Zachary Quinto as a patient, as well as Francis’ interactions with Reba McClane, picking her up at the bus stop, and refusing to allow her to touch his face. Plenty of notes right from the book, including Hannibal’s “Save yourself, kill them all,” and Dolarhyde as a “pilgrim” standing naked in the moonlight, drenched in blood and black as ever.

  • Also worth noting, Will views Francis Dolarhyde as a version of Hannibal he can actually save, whereas Hannibal sees Dolarhyde as a version of Will he can corrupt. Their push-pull creates a new dynamic for the characters that would theoretically continue into Season 4.

  • As to the panel itself, Fuller couldn’t offer too many updates, though we at least learned that Amazon would have produced a fourth season, but wanted production and scripts far more quickly than Fuller could have done them justice. Still, Fuller says “we’re looking at the possibility of a feature,” particularly after Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen have had some time to explore their careers and regroup.

  • Richard Armitage spoike to spending a good portion of the season nude, including awkward makeup sessions for his full body tattoo, while Fuller assures “we won’t blur his butt cheeks on the DVD and Blu-Ray.

  • On the subject of NBC pushback, Fuller explained his addition of the “spitters are quitters” line to play with Caroline Dhavernas, who’d never heard the expression before. Asked if he’d ever gotten any other denials from the network, Fuller replied “Other than more of the show…”

  • Fuller described his approach to Hannibal scenes as one-third Thomas Harris’ original material, one-third genuine psychology, and one-third their own “special sauce” of whatever’s going on with the characters.

  • Speaking to Will’s mindset in Season 2, Hugh Dancy admits that the character “blinded himself to the fact that he was going down a dead end.” There was no workable option, in that he could never have joined Hannibal and Abigail on the run in Italy, nor could he simply have turned Hannibal over to Jack.

  • One fan thanked Fuller for shying away from sexual violence, saying “Thank you for not telling rape stories. That always needs to be said.” Later, Fuller admitted that Francis Dolarhyde’s sexual deviancies would be both partially omitted and partially implied, as he wanted to keep his promise not to utilize rape without significant time to explore that level of violation on a character.

  • With regard to the show’s imposing score, Fuller claimed “The music needed to be psychological, it couldn’t’ be melodic. It needed an insidious capacity to get under your skin.” Additionally, Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees has composed a piece for the series, most likely to be heard in the finale.

  • Fuller also spoke to the food influencing the show’s dialogue, as consultants Janice Poon and Jose Andres often help supply dialogue around the elaborate dishes.

  • Relaying some of their favorite memories from the show, Fuller spoke to Mads and Hugh always providing input and opinions on each episode, often providing new inspiration for Fuller in his writing. Richard Armitage too, brought the same influence to Fuller’s writing on the Red Dragon arc. “They’re opinionated in a way that’s an asset to me.”

In the meantime, we’ve still seven episodes to go in the current season after Thursday’s “Dolce,” , including the likes of The Hobbit star Richard Armitage as Francis Dolarhyde, as well as True Blood alum Rutina Wesley as Reba, and Nina Arianda as Will’s new wife Molly. Bryan Fuller too has a bright future on Starz’s American Gods, but is hope for Hannibal all but off the table?

Stay tuned for the latest on Hannibal’s future, and keep it here for more coverage from Comic-Con 2015!

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