Hannibal kicked off its San Diego Comic Con panel (dubbed Pannibal by my fellow Fannibals) with an exclusive trailer to the second half of the season, which will introduce the highly-anticipated Red Dragon arc.
The trailer gives us a first look at Richard Armitage, who plays the Red Dragon himself, Francis Dolarhyde. We also get a first glimpse of Rutina Wesley, who portrays Reba McClane, a young blind woman whose path crosses with Francis Dolarhyde; she serves as a love interest and anchor for the unstable Dolarhyde. The tranquility she provides him with is not set to last long if the trailer is anything to go by. It features Hannibal in prison with a reluctant Will coming to visit him and the ominous end snippet of Francis Dolarhye covered in blood after Hannibal tells him “save yourself, kill them all.”
Check out the exclusive SDCC first look down below!
With an opening as good as that, Hannibal’s SDCC panel was off to a stellar start. Jokes were made about Hannibal’s cancellation, which led to the audience erupting in a series of loud and synchronized boos. Fuller then proceeded to defend NBC, stating, “NBC has allowed us to do some crazy shit for 3 years. We should applaud.” I found myself struggling to applaud because the wound left by Hannibal’s unfortunate cancellation was and is still too fresh.
Regarding whether or not the series has been rescued by another network, Fuller had no additional news to provide, saying they're currently looking for a home and are now thinking about bringing the show back via feature film. Fuller further added that Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen are fully committed to the show and would love to move forward with the show if (and when) it’s rescued. Producer Martha De Laurentiis also mused that the actors on the small screen would transition so well on the big screen.
When asked what happened with Netflix and Amazon, Fuller confirmed both passed up on the show. Netflix couldn’t help Hannibal because Amazon holds the streaming rights to the series, and Amazon offered to pick up the series but they wanted the next season to be done as quickly as possible. So in other words, season four would have been rushed and Fuller wanted to write the scripts before jumping into filming.
The moderator then asked Hugh Dancy about his thoughts on “the state of things” and if he’d love to continue doing Hannibal. Dancy immediately replied yes to the latter and made a joke about how “there must be no flower crowns left in the world.” That could be a possibility, considering about 85% of the Fannibals present were wearing flower-crowns. Bryan Fuller, Martha De Laurentiis, Richard Armitage, and Hugh Dancy all adorned their heads with flower crowns and Fuller later in the panel explained that “the flower crowns represent the passion and floral beauty of the fandom and our appreciation of their support.”
There may not be any pick-up news thus far, but the hope remains alive and well that Hannibal will be rescued!
The panel then transitioned to some interesting Red Dragon scoop. In terms of the interactions and relationship between Hannibal, Will, and Francis Dolarhyde, Fuller explained, “Will Graham is looking at Dolarhyde as a Hannibal he can save, and Hannibal is looking at him as a Will Graham he can corrupt.” Fuller added that this will bring a new perspective to the Red Dragon arc everyone knows. Oh boy…so Will and Hannibal are still clearly thinking about the other while also focusing their attention on Dolarhyde. Dolarhyde's stance in all of this was not revealed.
De Laurentiis mentioned that she loves the amount of time that was spent on Fuller’s re-imaging of the Red Dragon arc, mentioning how the story changed not just based on Fuller’s interpretation, but on Armitage’s as well. Armitage described Francis Dolarhyde as “a man who’s very uncomfortable in his own skin--he’s trying to shed his own skin and become something more powerful and greater than he actually was.” Armitage also stated that, although he saw Manhunter years, he didn’t remember it which turned out to be good because he didn’t look to past adaptations for inspiration and wanted to avoid being influenced by them.
Dancy was then asked what’s in store for Will Graham for the second half of the season after joking about Will getting the crap kicked out of him this season, to which Dancy jokingly replied, “we’re just getting started.” Dancy reveals that the show will experience a 3-year time jump and will find Will enveloped in domestic bliss, for he is now married and has retreated from the world of the FBI and Hannibal. The bliss, predictably, doesn’t last as Will finds himself sucked back into Hannibal’s orbit.
The last question asked, before the panel opened to fan questions, had to do with the line “spitters are quitters” with the moderator asking Fuller if he got any push-back from NBC for the line, to which Fuller replied no. Fuller then recalled joking about blow-jobs to Caroline Dhavernas and remembered thinking he was going to give her a blow-job line, which he indeed ended up doing. We were then treated to some lesbian euphemisms before we moved on to fan questions.
Here are the more notable responses to fan questions:
If the cast and crew had to die in one of the ways shown on the show, what death would they choose? Dancy chose the tree-man, whereas Fuller went with the guy turned into a cello.
Dancy said a world in which Hannibal, Abigail, and Will escaped together was never a possibility because Will was too divided for that.
What has been the best portion of the experience on Hannibal? Fuller immediately responded with the Fannibals, with a close second being the cast. Dancy seconded Fuller's statement and added that it had been amazing being a part of a show that engaged him so fully.
Fuller complimented the musical scoring done by series composer Brian Reitzell and revealed that Siouxsie of Siouxsie and the Banshees composed a song for the season finale; that’s truly amazing.
When asked about Dolarhyde’s sexual deviancy, Fuller commented that they hinted at it, but won’t further explore it because Fuller doesn’t allow rape scenes to make their way onto his shows. That aspect of Dolarhyde’s personality has been buried and won’t be viewed directly. Fuller then brilliantly stated that a rape story should only be told if a show has the time to fully explore what that rape means for the victim and everyone involved; it should not be simply brushed aside.
In regards to working with Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy, Fuller explained that the two actors are very opinionated and he learned a lot about their characters through talks he had with them individually and together. Fuller edited and adapted his script and character development quite often because he became inspired by them and their conversations. Fuller ended his answer by saying his favorite part about working on the show was working with actors who constantly had his back.
With the panel time being up, that concluded Hannibal’s possible final panel and boy, did things get emotional. Fannibals lingered in Ballroom 20 and I lingered as well, stuck in the realization that this could be the last panel for this truly wonderful and unique show. I sincerely hope that’s not the case and I am crossing my fingers for a movie or potential show rescue. If that does happen, then I hope to cover the show at next year’s Comic Con. Until then, I’ll keep recapping Hannibal as the phenomenal series reaches episode 7 this Saturday!
What do you think of the second half of Hannibal’s third season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!