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SYFY WIRE Songbird

WIRE Buzz: Songbird singing with KJ Apa & Sofia Carson; Bryan Fuller not silent about Hannibal S4 ideas

By Benjamin Bullard
KJ Apa

Work on Michael Bay’s Songbird is finally ready to tune up and crow for real, now that the upcoming pandemic thriller has reportedly finalized its two lead actors (both familiar genre faces) as the movie starts production.

Riverdale’s KJ Apa and Descendants’ Sofia Carson have signed on to lead the Songbird cast, according to The Hollywood Reporter, leading a lineup that already includes Demi Moore, Jenna Ortega, Peter Stormare, Bradley Whitford, and Paul Walter Hauser. The CW viewers already know Apa as Archie Andrews, the main man at the center of the Riverdale TV-verse; while Carson has appeared as Evie, the daughter of the Evil Queen, in all three of the Disney Channel’s original Descendants movies.

Sofia Carson

In Songbird, Apa will reportedly play Nico, a motorcycle courier in love with an artist named Sara, played by Carson. “[T]o be with the one he loves, our hero must overcome martial law, murderous vigilantes and a powerful, well connected family, helmed by a matriarch [Moore] who will stop at nothing to protect her family and maintain her way of life,” the network teased in a statement quoted by THR.

Songbird began production last week, becoming the first major Hollywood project (via Entertainment Tonight) to resume location shooting in Los Angeles as studios tentatively eye ramping up their schedules amid ongoing COVID-19 precautions. Given that Songbird itself is a movie about a pandemic, it’s a strange case of art imitating life.

The near-future story is being produced by Bay and directed by English director Adam Mason (Into the Dark). Songbird doesn’t yet have a release date.

As Bryan Fuller and the creative team behind Hannibal look back on the fifth anniversary of the groundbreaking series’ last airing at NBC, Fuller says he still has big hopes that the series might one day pick up where it left off.

In the Nerdist video below — which digitally reunited Fuller with stars Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal), Hugh Dancy (Will Graham), and more of the series’ original cast — Fuller said he’d love to explore the potential romantic dynamic between Hannibal and Will that was introduced in the run-up to the Season 3 finale, before leaving things hanging after NBC decided not to renew the show.

“Up until the point where I wrote, I was aware of the fan community wanting a sexualization between the characters. And I was entertained by that greatly, and got a kick out of it, certainly,” he said. “But I was also trying to be true to [author] Thomas Harris and these characters, and Mads’ declaration of Hannibal as ‘the devil.’ It’s something I am definitely interested in, and it feels like we were on a trajectory.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean a straight shot to romance, should the series ever find a new home to continue the story for a fourth season. “Because of the nature of what would be happening in Season 4, in terms of the grander manipulations that Hannibal has on Will Graham’s mind, I don’t think Hannibal would want to have sex with Will, if Will wasn’t in his right mind — and Will won’t be in his right mind in Season 4,” Fuller explained.

At least Fuller has a solid idea of where to take the series. And he still sounds optimistic that Season 4 could become a reality, saying he's “very hopeful” that Hannibal will continue somewhere. In the meantime, you can jump back into Mr. Lecter’s dark mind anytime at Netflix, which picked up the first three seasons of the series back in early June.