It’s going to be very interesting to see just how Bryan Fuller and company intend to bring the nefarious Hannibal the Cannibal to the small screen. Recently Fuller shed some light on the transition.
Fuller (“Pushing Daises”, “Heroes”) is taking five pages of backstory about the infamous cannibal psychiatrist from Thomas Harris’ book Red Dragon and using it as the basis for the first couple of seasons of his planned drama.
“There is a cheery disposition to our Hannibal,” Fuller explains to EW of the yet-to-be-cast Lecter. “He’s not being telegraphed as a villain. If the audience didn’t know who he was, they wouldn’t see him coming. What we have is Alfred Hitchcock’s principle of suspense — show the audience the bomb under the table and let them sweat when it’s going to go boom. So the audience knows who Hannibal is so we don’t have to overplay his villainy. We get to subvert his legacy and give the audience twists and turns.”
Fuller went on to describe the series as a weird sort of “love story” between Lecter and FBI Agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). Hannibal has said [to Graham] in a couple of the movies, ‘You’re a lot more like me than you realize.’ We’ll get to the bottom of exactly what that means over the course of the first two seasons. But we’re taking our sweet precious time.”
“Hannibal” will also be unusual because it’s planned as a 13-episode-per-season show. So though the drama won’t rush Hannibal’s story, it also won’t feel like its padded with throwaway episodes either. “Doing a cable model on network television gives us the opportunity not to dally in our storytelling because we have a lot of real estate to cover,” Fuller says. “I pitched a seven-season arc including stories from various [Thomas Harris] books.”
The show will include familiar characters from Harris’ novels, though he’s “Starbucking” the genders of a couple of them. FBI boss Jack Crawford will remain male, but Dr. Alan Bloom is becoming Dr. Alana Bloom, and tabloid journalist Freddy Lounds is becoming tabloid blogger Fredricka Lounds. The pilot episode will be directed by David Slade.
More as it comes.
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