Hannibal descended onto Comic-Con and the Fannibals came out in huge numbers to show their support for the cancelled (but not yet gone) drama.
The panel featured Hugh Dancy, Bryan Fuller, producer Martha De Laurentiis, and new cast member Richard Armitage (who brought out a stuffed red dragon to represent his character). All were bestowed with flower crowns by the fans, which Fuller said represent the “floral beauty of the fandom and our appreciation for their support.”
Moderated by EW’s Jeff Jensen, here’s what the panel revealed:
— The big question mark is whether the show will live on after NBC announced its cancelation a few weeks ago. Fuller says that Netflix passed and Amazon wanted to go back into production too early, so they’re still exploring options, including a potential movie: “We are still looking. We don’t have a lot of answers and we’re looking at the possibility of a feature. Hugh and Mads are very committed to the show and would love to continue with the show, so the way this season ends, there may be an opportunity for a little break and hopefully we’ll find a way to bring Mads and Hugh back to you.”
—No, Will’s not dead. The show will take a three-year time jump between the July 16 and July 23 episodes, and they’ll find Will enjoying a new reality after escaping the world of Hannibal Lecter. “Will has fully retreated from the world of Hannibal, and he has found a life for himself and indeed a wife for himself,” says Dancy—but, he adds, Will’s “domestic retreat” doesn’t last very long.
—Armitage’s Red Dragon will be a unique take on the familiar story of Francis Dolarhyde. He took cues from the books, actively avoiding Manhunter and the other films, and says he’ll show more of the Dragon’s skin than we might expect. “There’s something about Dolarhyde which has a kind of innocence to him, which sounds odd considering how complicated and how dark his world is. But it was always fluctuating between an innocent, childlike mind and a every complicated man, and so I spent half of this series naked…wearing the tattoo, which I guess how Dolarhyde felt, is a kind of clothing to him.” (“You’re welcome,” joked Fuller about the nudity.)
—Fuller even made light of the show’s dialogue, which can occasionally be too intelligent for its own good. “There are some scenes that we’re watching that we’re like, what did we mean!?” he remarked as Dancy laughed and nodded. “I think I knew what I was doing when I wrote this scene…but we look at the scene and go, wow that’s pretentious.”
—An audience member asked what the group would miss most, should the show not find a second home after NBC. “The connection that we’ve had with this community has been overwhelming and supportive. I feel like we’re all going to take Fannibals with us wherever we go,” said Fuller. “Literally,” added Dancy.
–Fuller says he wanted to keep the promise of not telling rape stories in Dolarhyde’s tale: “It became more about the assault on the family unit than the woman in the family unit … It just felt like we listened very carefully to our audience and we know who our audience is. And I think you should only do a rape story when you can dedicate a lot of real estate to exploring exactly what sort of violation that means for everybody involved in the situation. So often on television, they don’t, and it makes it thin and shallow and lazy,” he said to huge cheers from the crowd. “We minimized a bit and we didn’t really pronounce that too much. It’s there if you want to see if, but I didn’t want to see it myself.”