Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller has given an update on a potential fourth season, and said the cast is hopeful the psychological horror could adapt The Silence of the Lambs as a miniseries.
With Fuller bringing Thomas Harris‘ series of books based on Dr. Hannibal Lecter to life, the series cast Mads Mikkelsen as the titular cannibal and Hugh Dancy as criminal profiler Will Graham. Despite developing a cult following since it went off the air in 2015, NBC‘s short-lived series had always struggled in the ratings and was axed on a cliffhanger. Mikkelsen recently teased news about Season 4, but by the sounds of it, nothing is set in stone just yet.
There’s been plenty of speculation about where Hannibal could go next, and speaking during Nerdist‘s cast reunion (via MovieWeb), Fuller explained what he hopes will happen. “It will be interesting to see what happens with the show moving forward or whether there is ever to be a Silence of the Lambs miniseries with this cast,” said Fuller. “The great thing about the idea – with members of the cast in terms of where we’re going — is that if we are going to take five years, six years, seven years or what have you and everyone’s still interested in coming back then that’s just how long they’ve been on the lam, as it were. Then the story picks up from that point and we’ll adapt.”
Although Fuller had the rights to most of the characters, a complicated deal with MGM meant Hannibal couldn’t use characters including Jame Gumb, Barney Matthews, and most importantly, Clarice Starling. Fuller had always expressed an interest in acquiring the rights further down the line and using The Silence of the Lambs as a potential fifth season storyline. In addition to mapping out a six-season arc for Hannibal, he had also talked openly about wanting to cast Ellen Page as Clarice.
While Season 3 told the story of Harris‘ Red Dragon and rounded off that particular chapter, the ending left major question marks hanging over the fates of Hannibal and Will, as well as more from Gillian Anderson‘s Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier. Almost immediately after Hannibal was canceled, Mikkelsen confirmed the entire cast was looking for a return. In early 2019, Mikkelsen said Fuller was trying to secure the rights to The Silence of the Lambs and remained confident there will be some sort of continuation.
Unfortunately for Fuller, Mikkelsen and the rest of the Hannibal cast, CBS is currently working on its own Starling-centric series called Clarice. Set after the events of Silence of the Lambs, the show will serve as a sequel and move Starling’s story away from her life with Dr. Lecter.
As for Hannibal, there’s been a renewed interest in reviving the series since it finally arrived on Netflix. With the cast on board and Fuller having a vision for where the Hannibal could go next, fans will have to wait and see whether there’s room for another course.