Although NBC won’t be renewing the popular drama / horror series Hannibal for a fourth season, creator Bryan Fuller reveals that fans may still have more to look forward to.
Hannibal, a re-imagining of the stories surrounding the infamous fictional killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter, first premiered on NBC in April 2013. Since then, the series has garnered much praise from critics and has developed a reasonably large and dedicated fan following. The show covers a range of different elements from each of Thomas Harris’ novels featuring Lecter (Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Hannibal Rising), as well as a great deal of original material, and had initially been planned to run for up to six or seven seasons.
Despite its successes, NBC officially announced in June that they would not be renewing any contracts for future seasons of Hannibal. The final episode of season three aired on August 28, 2015, and was the last episode of Hannibal that will ever be broadcast on the network. The decision to drop the show was made based mainly on an increasing drop in ratings, regardless of the show’s acclaim and initial popularity. This has been considered to possibly be due in part to the intense, mature nature of the series being better suited to a cable or streaming network rather than a broadcast one.
None of this means that Fuller is finished with his plans for Dr. Lecter, though. Some ideas for future storylines include a new adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs, if rights can be obtained from MGM. Hopes are very high that a new spot can be found to revive Hannibal for a fourth season at a later date. At San Diego Comic-Con in July, Fuller also revealed that Amazon, which currently has streaming rights to the existing three seasons of the series, had been interested in a fourth season, but a deal could not be reached due to scheduling and time constraints. Netflix was also approached, but was unable to pick up the show due to Amazon’s streaming rights. The idea of a feature film is being looked into as well.
Both Mads Mikkelsen, who does a brilliant job in his portrayal of Dr. Lecter, and Hugh Dancy, who acts opposite Mikkelsen as FBI special investigator Will Graham, have also expressed their interest in being involved in any future projects.
“It’s an emotional thing for all of us,” Dancy said during the Comic-Con panel. “It’s not over in the sense that we were fully committed, and were living this thing for several years, and that’s still true in this moment.”
In the meantime, Fuller will be working with Starz on a new show based on the Neil Gaiman novel, American Gods. Because of this, Starz has also been considered as a potential new home for a renewal in the future. Fuller and fellow executive producer Martha De Laurentiis have also organized the ongoing #SaveHannibal campaign to help support the search to find a new venue.
“Hannibal is finishing his last course at NBC’s table this summer,” Fuller said in a statement, “but a hungry cannibal can always dine again.”