‘Hannibal’ Creator Talks Season 4 Story, ‘Silence,’ David Bowie and More
And lo, Hannibal has come to a very permanent-seeming end, closing out Season 3 with a redux of the Red Dragon arc that saw its two leads on a very literal cliffhanger, and another character losing quite a bit of limb. Continually optimistic about a movie wrap-up, creator Bryan Fuller talks his idea for Season 4 and the inevitable Silence of the Lambs treatment, which may or may not involve Ellen Page and David Bowie.
You’re warned of all the major spoilers for Hannibal Season 3 closer “The Wrath of the Lamb” from here on out, but even as Will pulling Hannibal off a cliff offered a certain sense of closure, the mid-credits stinger of Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) being served her own leg by an unseen figure pulled us right back in. Speaking to various outlets, Fuller discussed the intentional nod to Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls, in that one, or both Will and Hannibal likely survived, though Bedelia’s chef might be someone else altogether.
Well, you know, I love post-credits sequence. I mean, you see Sherlock and Moriarty go over Reichenbach Falls, and you don’t know what fate befell those characters. By coming back in and seeing Bedelia at a dinner table being served her own leg, grabbing a fork and hiding it under the table and preparing to stab it in the neck of the next person who comes into the room, that’s a great way to tell the audience, ‘Yes, we have told you completion to this story, but who is serving Bedelia that leg? Is it Hannibal? Did he survive? Is it Uncle Robert is, and is David Bowie behind that curtain? Who’s serving her the leg?’
Fuller insisted that producer Martha De Laurentis remains committed to financing either a feature of a miniseries a year or so down the line, though we don’t yet know if MGM would then relinquish rights to Silence of the Lambs characters yet. Instead, Fuller suggested to IGN that the emotional fallout between Will and Hannibal would organically take focus in Season 4 anyway, exploring an aspect of Thomas Harris’ books never seen on film:
I think this is how it would have ended regardless. The idea for Season 4, which we kept going back and forth on, I was like, ‘This is an arc for a season that I want to do and we can either do it in Season 4 or we can do our version of Silence of the Lambs in Season 4 and then get back to it in Season 5.’ But I really feel like it organically goes in Season 4, before any sort of Silence of the Lambs arc, because there’s a lot to address and a lot to unpack. So I stand by this ending as the appropriate ending for Season 3, whether it was going into a Season 4 or whether it was ending where it stood.
And to TVLine:
There is love between these two men, and confusion between these two men. We had to articulate it, and the idea for a [potential] Season 4 was an interesting continuation of that, as well as a subversion of it at the same time. So it’s strange to look at [this week’s episode] as a finale, because part of me believes that the most interesting chapter of Will Graham’s story is yet to be told.
You know, there is a plot point in the [Thomas Harris] novel Hannibal that has not been in any of the [filmed] adaptations. And so, it’s important for me to protect that and hopefully be able to tell it one day. Of course, the “Fannibals” are so smart and know the books so well that I’m sure it won’t be too big of a stretch to figure out exactly what it would be.
Of course, assuming we got to a point of Silence (for which Fuller also revealed that Raul Esparza’s Chilton would return after extensive skin grafts), we’d need a memorable Clarice. Fuller tossed out Ellen Page as a suggestion, but also expressed to THR that a change in race might unlock different aspects of the character not explored by Jodie Foster or Julianne Moore:
There’s two ways. If you were to go that traditional route, Ellen Page would knock it out of the park. She’s a brilliant actress and has a lot of the qualities that we remember about Jodie Foster’s performance but yet unique in her skill set as an actress. That would be one way to go. But I do think it would be interesting to cast someone who is not white in that role and use race experientially as a defining attribute of the character.
However Hannibal’s future shapes out, it’s safe to say that Fuller has more of the story to tell, and cherished the time spent on three seasons to date. The finale itself gave us some incredible moments, but should Hannibal continue in some form, what might Season 4 look like?