Exclusive ‘Hannibal’ interview: Showrunner Bryan Fuller teases Season 3

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Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) is back as serial killer Hannibal Lecter next month for a third season of US thriller Hannibal on Sky Living.


Leaving us with loads to chew on, the friendship between Hannibal and Will (Hugh Dancy) was shattered at the end of Season 2 as Hannibal realised Will had betrayed him and plunged a knife into his stomach. Before that, the shocks had come in quick succession. The assumed-dead Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl) surprised everyone by not only being alive but also hurling Alana (Caroline Dhavernas) out of a second-floor window.

Minutes later though, her throat was slashed and she was left bleeding out in front of Will. Also left for dead was Jack (Laurence Fishburne), who was choking on his own blood and desperately trying to call his dying wife as the credits rolled. As the new season begins, Hannibal is on the run in Europe accompanied by Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson). But what is she to him? His therapist? His victim? His lover? Or his accomplice?

> Buy the complete Season 1-2 boxset on Amazon.

Season 3 begins at 10pm on Wednesday 10 June on Sky Living.

To celebrate the show’s return, CultBox caught up with Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller for a chat about what’s coming up in the new season, replacing Michael Pitt, who might play Clarice Starling and the possibility of a movie…


Season 2 ended in quite brutal fashion with the fates of several characters left hanging. What can you tell us about Season 3?

“Well, I think the big leap forward in season 3 is that we land the show in the very first episode with a bit of a time jump that allows the characters to settle into a new story and if the first season was the romance and the second season was the breakup, the third season is that horrible revisiting of a relationship to put it out of its misery once and for all or re-engage.”


Hannibal betrayed a lot of people, especially Jack and Alana, how do they come back from that? Assuming they survived Season 2 of course!

“It’s interesting that the first seven episodes are such a departure from the first two seasons in that there’s no FBI, there’s no kind of crime procedural investigation, it is a purely character driven story and the survivors of the ‘red’ dinner, each have been changed measurably by that night.

Hannibal 3 Hugh Dancy

“So when we sat down at the beginning of the season, there were a lot of conversations about how has every individual character been changed and how are they moving forward, how can we best illustrate this new transition into a world that is essentially post death? Because to all intents and purposes everybody in that house should have died.”


Do you think Hannibal and Will can ever truly forgive each other after what happened?

“Yes, yes I think there’s an interesting aspect to their relationship that when Will says, ‘I forgive you,’ is the forgiveness that we make in terms of how you forgive a shark for being a shark and how you accept that Hannibal is who he is, has not necessarily once it’s all been revealed that the chrysalis about his identity and how he works and how he views the world.

“So yes, he’s been a grand manipulator, but there’s also been a very strange streak of honesty in all of his dealings with the characters so he hasn’t been a monster of lies, he’s actually been trying to reach out in the clearest, purest version of every character in the piece.”


What are your standout moments from the new season? What can audiences expect this year?

“From the new season? Without giving too much away I think there are quite a few with this cast. We had Gillian Anderson who has crafted this role over two seasons in a supporting capacity and now stepping centre stage to be one of the regulars on the show.

Hannibal 3 Gillian Anderson

“I love what she’s done with the character and how she’s opened this character up in a way where we see this very cool, cold woman hoisted by her own petard in some way and also finding a new life with Hannibal that is very much almost academic because she is always his psychiatrist and we see Gillian, as a performer, actually move into a very comedic role in the series and, laugh-out-loud, in several episodes her reactions alone to some of the things that Hannibal does are some of my favourites in the series that we’ve done.

“There’s also a tremendous amount of emotion that we explore, certainly in the second episode, we really go to the heart of what it is to grieve in this world for Will Graham and how he has to navigate that grief and move forward and achieve what he needs to achieve with his relationship with Hannibal.”


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