Hannibal: Inside The Mind Of A Master Chef/Killer
Ever wanted to know what it’s like to run your own TV show? Hannibal creator Brian Fuller answered a few questions for us about what it’s like to face the wrath of the internet and where that elusive fourth season might have gone.
As a creator, how much do you care about things like Twitter feedback? Would you change the storyline? Would you change characters?
I care a little bit when it’s a point, because last year when we killed off Beverly Katz I was accused of being a racist and a misogynist for killing off an Asian character, and it got a lot of vitriol online, and it was hard for me to take personally. Because I was like, if anybody knows me at all, they would know that I’m not racist, or misogynistic in the least. But, because we killed off a female character that was Asian, that was the interpretation. That was the rage. I read some feedback about Alana Bloom’s character being just a girlfriend in the beginning of this season. That was after it. We didn’t really service the actress, or the character in a spectacular way. She was sort of a leg in the triangle and everything kind of rotated between Hannibal and Will.
One of the first things we did when we sat down for the writers room in the third season was, we have to make Alana one of the most interesting characters on the show. We have to undo that, and I heard that criticism and I thought it was a valid criticism. I took it to heart and wanted to make a change based on it. That was sort of one exception to a lot of things where I’m like… hmm. Some things I’ll wave off, and other things I’ll say like, “Oh you have a really good point, and we should correct that”.
“I was like, ‘Really? What about Alien … Nobody’s dying horribly in Star Wars’.”
How do you think the Hannibal series will be remembered overall?
I think it’ll be remembered for Mads Mikkelsen’s performance, and I think every Hannibal is remembered for that actor. Bryan Cox I thought was brilliant in Manhunter. He was so witty, and was aware of the black comedy. Then Anthony Hopkins was a little bit more banal with his interpretation, really making a meal of it, and heightened but also accessible, particularly when he goes to his stillness. Then Mads Mikkelsen is yet again doing something different. It’s like a good Shakespeare play. You see how every individual actor really imbues the characters in a fresh way and makes it their own. I think when people think of this, they’ll think of Mads’s performance.
Hannibal could be called a thriller, a crime story or even a straight horror experience. It seems like there’s a real homage to ‘70s horror films perhaps especially Don’t Look Now.
We really wanted to have that feel for the show of somebody who was walking away from a travesty and was haunted by them. That’s kind of how we were looking at Will Graham. We talked a lot about him being Donald Sutherland. He’s haunted by this life. He’s haunted by, and without giving too much story away, our second episode is greatly influenced by Don’t Look Now thematically but also stylistically – we’re big fans of that movie. The horror genre is my first genre of choice, so all the other kids were going off about Star Wars, and I was like, “Really? What about Alien … Nobody’s dying horribly in Star Wars.”
If by chance the show is resurrected, what could we expect from a fourth season?
The idea for the fourth season is probably our wackiest, in terms of going off the rails. We went off the rails in the third season a bit, but if there’s a fourth season it will probably go off the rails even further.