Bryan Fuller reveals his epic 7-season plan for Hannibal

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Jan 19, 2021, 4:50 PM EST (Updated)

Though he just scooped up a skin-of-the-teeth renewal for season two, producer Bryan Fuller says he already has a seven-season plan in place for his dark critical hit Hannibal.

Based on characters from Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon novel and its sequels, the NBC series failed to garner massive ratings but has been adored by critics as a smart, sharp thriller. NBC has given the series a second season in hopes the critical buzz will translate into better ratings, and Fuller is already mapping out the next six years of where he’ll take the story.

From catching up to the events of Red Dragon to Silence of the Lambs, Fuller is ready to tackle all those iconic stories if the series survives that long. Here’s how he explained the grand plan to Assignment X:

“Well, when you get into season four, you get into the literature. And so season four would be Red Dragon, Season Five would be the Silence of the Lambs era, season six would be the Hannibal era, and then Season Seven would be a resolve to the ending of that book. Hannibal ends on a cliffhanger. Hannibal Lecter has bonded with Clarice Starling and brainwashed her and they are now quasi-lovers and off as fugitives, and so that’s a cliffhanger. It might be interesting to resolve that in some way and to bring Will Graham back into the picture. So once we get two more seasons, say, of the television show, those are the aren’t-novelized stories, and then we would get into expansions of the novels after that and kind of using the novels as a backbone for season arcs that would then be kind of enhanced...

[I]t would be about incorporating [Will] in a way that he hasn’t been incorporated in the books, because Will Graham was only mentioned in Silence of the Lambs, he was not seen, and so I would be curious to see what happens to Will Graham after Red Dragon. By the time of Red Dragon, he’s married to Molly and has her son from a previous marriage, but doesn’t have any children of his own. And then that relationship is more complicated by Francis Dolarhyde and there were suggestions that there was a not-so-happy ending for Will Graham after Red Dragon because he has his face carved up and you wonder what’s going to happen to Will now, and I’m curious to see what happens to Will after that.”

Do you think there is enough material to mine from this story for a full seven-year run?

(Via Assignment X)