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Exclusive: Bryan Fuller on HANNIBAL’s Upcoming “Fun” Third Season

Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal has defied all odds by getting renewed for a third season by NBC. I caught up with the producer — as cheery as his series is dark — at last week’s Saturn Awards, where he won the Dan Curtis Legacy Award. After his win, Fuller chatted with me backstage about what fans can expect when the Mads Mikkelsen-starring Hannibal returns next season.

Regarding whether Hannibal‘s third season will take its censor-straining shocks to new limits, Fuller told me, “What’s interesting about going into a third season is that we have laid so many bricks on our road that now we get to follow the path Hannibal’s going to be traveling abroad. There’s never been any sort of edict about going further as much as there has been just honoring the show, and honoring the spirit of Thomas Harris’ literature. So the challenge for us is just to keep ourselves interested and hopefully the audience will be sitting right beside us.”

With Hannibal now a welcome presence in so many homes, is it increasingly difficult to maintain the show’s sinister edge?

“It is,” said Fuller. “What is interesting is we’re kind of a meditation on grief in a way. So there’s a certain darkness inherent in the show, but there’s also an incredibly dark humor at the same time that is very satisfying. We’ll be exploring more of that in the third season where we’ll have a little more levity and embracing of the absurdity of the situation that’ll be, I think, infectiously fun.”

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Fuller also confirmed that we’ll see new characters from Thomas Harris’ books in upcoming episodes.

“Absolutely. We’re gonna be seeing [Hannibal's Japanese aunt] Lady Murasaki. We’re going to be seeing [Rinaldo] Pazzi, who is the Italian detective from Hannibal. And Cordell, who is the doctor of Mason Verger. So there are a few from the literature that we’re going to be exploring in the third season.”

The writer-producer added that despite Hannibal‘s renewal, he’s still approaching the show one season at a time.

“It’s kind of season by season. I feel like we are very grateful for every season that we get, considering that our ratings aren’t great. We have incredible support from the network and studio. So hopefully that will keep us buoyant…”

What characters from Thomas Harris’ novels would you like to see on Hannibal? (Aside from Clarice Starling of course.) Let us know in the comments below.

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