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Every Spoilery Little Thing We Know About 'Hannibal's' Third Season

By Cindy Davis | Industry | April 28, 2015 |

By Cindy Davis | Industry | April 28, 2015 |

We’re still a bit more than a month away from Hannibal’s June 4th third season premiere, but never fear; Bryan Fuller’s lips are loose, my dears. (*insert groans here*) Sorry, I don’t know where that came from (not enough caffeine). In addition to spilling the beans on why the third season is taking so long…

“We barely, by the skin of our teeth, were able to produce the first two seasons with a lot of hard work, and a lot of people bending over backwards and contorting, because it’s so hard to do a crafted television show in eight days [per episode]…coming into the third season, which is our most ambitious yet, it was essentially trying to squeeze all of that into seven days, with no second unit, and it blew up in everybody’s faces.

Scenes were getting dropped, shots were dropped, so in the editing room I was like, ‘I can’t even put this together because there’s not enough material.’ And I’d been squawking about that for four months, saying we’re in trouble, and then finally after four months we realised where we were and had to push back, because the show wasn’t done.

I don’t mind a summer schedule at all, and it actually allowed us to fix our mistakes, of trying to simplify how we were producing the show, which was misguided.”

Fuller recently shared quite a few interesting details. If you’re averse to preview-type (not major) ***Spoilerish information, now’s the time to back out of this post.

We’ve already heard about directors, Game of Thrones’ Neil Marshall and Vinceno Natali (Splice), and actors Zachary Quinto, Rutina Wesley, Tao Okamoto, Nina Arianda and Glenn Fleshler will make guest appearances. Oh, and Raúl Esparza’s Frederick Chilton has a plan.

Beginning with Episode 3.8, the “cuisine-based” episode titles will give way to William Blake’s Great Red Dragon paintings.


3.8 “The Great Red Dragon”

3.9 “…And the Woman Clothed in Sun”

3.10 “And the Woman Clothed with the Sun”

3.11 “…And the Beast from the Sea”

3.12 TBA

3.12 “The Wrath of the Lamb”

Speaking of Red Dragon and Richard Armitage’s Francis Dolarhyde…


The actor had never seen Hannibal before taking on the role; Armitage simply wanted the opportunity to work with Fuller — which meant rethinking his own ideas about horror as a genre.

“I suddenly realised that I was going back on something that I’d said a long time ago, which was that one of the genres I probably won’t do is horror. But I just didn’t see [the role of Dolarhyde] as horror, and I then went and watched Hannibal seasons one and two.

To me it sort of sits in a very interesting place, it’s the horror genre but there’s something beautifully decadent and gothic about the way that it’s shot, and the performances are extraordinary. Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy and Laurence Fishburne just give it this elevation, so I knew that the bar was high when I went in there…we get six hours to really explore the fine detail of what it means to be a psychopath, and understand the roots of that, the birth of a child that turns into a monster. It’s going to be very interesting.”

In the back half of the season, Armitage’s Dolarhyde will be more like a third lead than supporting cast.

“He is in the show almost as much as Hugh and Mads are…we really spend a lot of time with Dolarhyde, in a way that neither of the movies have had the real estate to.

A lot of what we see with Dolarhyde is just him alone in a room struggling with his insanity. I wanted the audience to be so confused with this character because we get to know him, and we get to see this man who is suffering, from his mind eating him alive from the inside out.” (Fuller)

Also heavily featured this season is Gillian Anderson’s Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, now a series regular.


The June 4th premiere, “Antipasto” — which covers four periods of time — will reveal “the years-long relationship” between Bedelia and Hannibal (who’s still holding a bit of a candle for a certain former patient):

“It really does feel like ‘What are we watching?’ Will Graham isn’t in it, none of the other familiar characters are in it, it’s just Hannibal and Bedelia…there’s just a hint of ‘Wouldn’t this be better if it were me and Will Graham?’” (Fuller)

Fuller is excited for us to see Anderson’s comedic side, on full display in episode 3.6:

“Gillian has quite a big role in the first half of the season, and she’s hilarious…she is laugh-out-loud funny, and I can’t wait for people to see that because she’s just a delight.”

The opening episodes will also feature Mads engaging in a little Hanni-Bond style action.


“I love Ridley Scott’s Hannibal, I just think it’s such a fun, gruesome movie that kind of harkens back to Hammer films, and it’s Hannibal as James Bond. There’s qualities of that that we wanted to bring to the first chapter of the third season…” (Fuller)

Episodes 3.7 and 3.12 may be a bit too much for those of us with weak stomachs; Fuller says the gore factor will be extra-high.

“It’s one bit in particular that’s from the books, and we see it probably more graphically on our show than you have in any of the movies.

When we did that scene, you’re supposed to be silent when you’re watching, but the entire crew gasped and shrieked. So you’re watching the dailies and you’re seeing this horrible thing happen, and you just hear all these gasps coming from behind the camera, and it’s so much fun! It’s so disturbing that it affected the crew.”

Here’s the latest creeptastic (who knew a blink could be so unnerving?) Hannibal motion-poster:

Read more, including where Will’s dogs might be, and hints about season 4.

Cindy Davis, (Twitter)

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