Bryan Fuller Talks About Season Three Of ‘Hannibal’ And Offers A Peek Inside The ‘American Gods’ Writers Room

Comic-Con International 2015 - "Hannibal" Savor The Hunt Panel
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A little over three months have passed since the series finale of Hannibal aired on NBC. In the penultimate scene of the episode, Will Graham and Dr. Hannibal Lecter clutched one another atop a cliff after defeating Francis Dolarhyde in battle. The two men then went over the edge, leaving fans of the show with a literal cliffhanger that may never be answered.

Despite its cancellationHannibal hasn’t left showrunner Bryan Fuller off in a dark corner somewhere, licking his wounds and hiding from the big bad world. Instead, he’s keeping busy promoting the DVD and Blu-ray release of the show’s third and final season, holding out hope for more opportunities to tell the good doctor’s story, and scouting locations for his upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods at Starz. Uproxx chatted with Fuller about all these things and more.

Do you feel bittersweet about releasing Hannibal‘s third and final season? 

There are still tales to be told with Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham. It feels like a novel has closed, but that’s not to say another one won’t be written. In my mind I see the next step so clearly, and if we’re able to relaunch in couple of years and do Silence of the Lambs with Mads Mikkelsen, I would be all over it.

It reminds me of television in the U.K., where series don’t always come out back-to-back.

Yeah, it’s hard to say. But I would cherish working with Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in these roles again. The rest of the cast is amazing, and I would love to get back in bed with all of them.


Well I’m glad to hear that you’ve got more in store for Hannibal fans, even if not at NBC.

I’m so grateful to Jennifer Nicholson-Salke [president of NBC Entertainment] for facilitating us telling that story on network television in a way that some cable networks wouldn’t allow. It was really a fantastic collaboration, and envelope-pushing for all of us. NBC wanted to find out if there was an audience for extreme television on their network, and I think they discovered there wasn’t. Not that extreme, at least. So God bless them for giving us the chance to push those boundaries.

The third season has a lot of extra material. Was any of it cut for being too extreme?

No, no. I think it was just too much yak. It’s like, “People shut up!” There was a lot of dialogue that we trimmed. Sometimes when you’re working on a show, you’re writing scenes and you’re trying to be thematic with the story you’re telling. Then in post you realize you don’t need as much. Also, scenes would play long because we took our time on this show and really milked the moments in a way that network television also doesn’t often let you do. So a lot of what people are seeing on the extras is the trimmed fat, but as we all know, fat can be very delicious. It’s nice to gather those bacon strips for the “Fannibals.”

I love blooper reels, but it’s weird for me to watch Hannibal‘s — especially when someone is covered in blood and laughing.

I think it reinforces the sense of family with the experience of this show, as odd as that sounds. Especially for the fans. Plus, there’s a lot of dark humor in this show. It seems organic to the story that we’ve told.

Fans really enjoy trying to predict what happens after the series finale.

There’s always a version where we get to see exactly how Bedelia [Gillian Anderson] got into that situation. The fun of season four would have been unraveling those clues.

You mentioned playing scenes long. Viewers either loved or hated Hannibal‘s pacing.

It was definitely divisive. For me, I enjoyed the delay. There was something organic about where we ended season two. I watched episode 301 recently, and I was very proud of it. It’s such an odd little movie, and I think Gillian is absolutely brilliant. Mads, of course, is pitch-perfect as always. I watched that episode as a movie, and it’s very satisfying to me as an audience member and a fan of those actors. If it wasn’t as pleasant for others that’s a bummer, but I love it.

One of the things fans constantly praise is how artful the show is, especially its tones and colors.

I’m so proud of the work that director David Slade and cinematographer James Hawkinson did crafting the color palate for the series. It’s so peculiar and uniquely David. He was so involved in post-production, finalizing the looks and sounds of every episode and working with Brian Reitzell on the music. It should be experienced with headphones or a fantastic surround sound system, because the sound on this Blu-ray is wonderful and so much more textured than anyone watching it on television ever knew.

I noticed on Twitter that you’ve been doing some location scouting for American Gods at the House on the Rock.

I’ve never been there before, and it was one of the most special experiences I’ve ever had in my life. It was a wonderland. There is a fascinating subversion to it as well, so it’s interesting that Neil Gaiman found and shared it. I’m hoping that when people see American Gods, they’ll seek this place out because it took my breath away.

It looks fantastic.

I’m glad!

Most shows get every social media account imaginable for promotion, but it looks like the American Gods writers room has its own. It’s mostly pictures of the writers’ dogs.

[Laughs.] I think there’s five dogs in the office. I’ve got two, Loretta Ramos has one, Michael Green has one and Maria Melnik has one.

Maybe #AmericanDogs will trend on Twitter.

We should totally get that going!

You’re in the midst of pre-production, but it looks like everyone is having fun.

We’ve got a wonderful room on American Gods. It’s so fascinating for all of us who are curious about religion and mythology. To be able to weave those two and take an interesting look at religion from the perspective of the gods themselves. Maintaining the personality of those gods as we know them. Learning a thing or two about what they actually stand for.

Depending on which iteration of the god it is, definitely.


I’m a big fan of the book and I really look forward to the show.

Awesome. I think it’s going to be good. It’s very exciting to be working with David again. The last time I worked with Michael was on the first season of Heroes, and we had a ball together. So it’s going really well.


The third and final season (for now) of Hannibal hits DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, Dec. 8.