Warning: This post contains spoilers through Season 2; if you’re not caught up, please leave the virtual building.
Though Hannibal’s exhilaratingly violent and emotional second season finale might feel a lifetime ago, it’s been just over a month since we saw Hannibal and Bedelia fly away together. She must be under duress, right? Or Hannibrainwashed? Either way, Bryan Fuller has been wasting no time while the show’s on hiatus; he and his most excellent writing team has been busy plotting away Season 3. In a couple new interviews, he’s already giving hints of what’s to come — here are the highlights:
1. Season 3 Will Incorporate Elements from Thomas Harris’ Hannibal and Hannibal Rising, as Well as Red Dragon.
*Book spoilers ahead: Many readers may be more familiar with Hannibal (adapted to film by Ridley Scott), which chronicles Hannibal’s life as a fugitive in Europe — post-Silence of the Lambs. Though the novel involves Clarice Starling (one of the characters Fuller still has been unable to attain the rights to), following the final Mizumono scene, it seems likely Bedelia Du Maurier may to some extent serve as Clarice’s stand-in. Because the series plays around with timelines, events can be mixed and mashed however Fuller likes: “We sort of have carte blanche in what we interpret and how we re-imagine it. We see ourselves as Thomas Harris mashup DJs and are able to basically spin tracks from different books with vocals from other books, so that’s the exciting thing about the show.” The showrunner has also made it known he’s very excited about brining Hannibal Rising’s Lady Murasaki to Season 3: “I’m fascinated with that relationship. By exploring who Hannibal was, we’ll see what his relationship was to his family and to his sister. That will probably be the biggest deviation from the novels, but that’s also wonderful unchartered territory. In order to hunt this man down, he has to understand him in a way that he never has before, and that requires him to get underneath Hannibal’s skin in a unique way.” And of course, Fuller has made it known he’d love to have David Bowie play Hannibal’s uncle, Count Robert Lecter.
2. We Won’t Find out Who’s Dead or Alive Right Away. Season 3’s First Episode Will Feature Hannibal’s European Adventures.
“I just want to make sure that nobody is mad when they show up and they’re like, “Wait, we didn’t see anybody but Hannibal!” “…since we are telling a fugitive story now, after Red Dragon, because in the novel, once Hannibal guts Graham, he’s immediately apprehended. In our timeline, he gets away so we are pulling that story up. Then telling a different story when we get to that storyline after Silence of the Lambs.
“We’re talking about how we’re going to produce Season 3 and one of the things that we’re very curious about is exploring shooting abroad for five or six weeks to help us see Hannibal in an environment that he’s never been in before. Right now, we have a European shoot as part of our Season 3 plan.” (Fuller)
3. We’ll See More of the Vergers, and a Different Mason. Plus Why Fuller Changed Margot.
After Hannibal manipulated Mason Verger into mutilating himself, and then broke Mason’s neck, instead of seeing Mason’s hideous after-face, the character was covered-up — Fuller explains that at that point in the season, there wasn’t time for facial prosthetics (and how the cover-up was done): “…we did that whole face in post because what we had on stage didn’t quite work. It looked like a dish towel wired to his face because we had no time to do it, so all of the face stuff was a visual effects appliance that we did all in post. That was completely in post.” When asked if he hopes to show Verger’s face in Season 3: “Yes.”
As to Margot, who in the books was a blonde weightlifter, raped by her brother from the age of four, Fuller wanted to “desexualize” that relationship. “In the book, Margot is a lesbian character, but it’s not clear if she is transgendered, or if she is just so pumped full of steroids and hormones that she’s become more masculine in her appearance. So, what I didn’t want to do is say that being transgendered or being gay is a direct result of horrific sexual trauma, because it’s not. I think being transgendered and being homosexual are natural things that occur in the creation of biological beings. There is something magical and boggling, at the same time, to consider being in the wrong body, and having the ability through science to get the right body and synchronize yourself so that who you are on the inside is consistent with who you are on the outside. Those are fascinating things, and normal, healthy, human things. So, I felt like it would do a disservice to many people who are transgendered or homosexual to suggest that bad things happen because of that. That’s not a message that I want to get behind.” We don’t necessarily do sexualized violence and I think it’s something that is overdone on procedural television.”
4. There Will Be Dolarhyde.
“I can’t wait to dig my claws into the character of Francis Dolarhyde and his visions of the Red Dragon.” “In Dolarhyde, there will be a distinction for us I think that will be presented that there is something that I am rationalizing of necrophilia versus rape. So, that’s kind of the narrow chasm which we’re going to try to navigate.”
5. We Don’t Quite Know If Hannibal Will Be Jailed by Season 3’s End, But He Will Eventually Wear the Mask Anthony Hopkins Wore.
When asked directly whether Hannibal would see the other side of a cell by the end of Season 3, Fuller answered: “Stay tuned. Stay tuned.” And when she accepted Mads Mikkelsen’s Best Actor Saturn Award last Thursday, Hannibal executive producer Martha de Laurentiis announced that at some point, Mikkelsen will don “the mask that Tony wore…” Hannibal also won the Saturn for Best Network Television Series.