Comic-Con: ‘Hannibal’ Crew Teases Season 2 Two-Part Opener

NBC‘s Hannibal ended its rookie season on a cliffhanger with FBI investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) on the wrong side of the bars, accused of murder. Exec producer Bryan Fuller revealed Thursday at Comic-Con that the crime series’ second season will return in a two-parter followed by a trial in Episode 3. “We have the season arc crafted, and it’s a doozy,” Fuller teased to a packed ballroom. “We just finished breaking Episode 3, and we are breaking Episode 4 now.” The Season 2 openers will act as a pseudo pilot, Fuller said, reintroducing characters who now find themselves in much different places. “Will knows something no one else knows, and it’s a great place to put a character,” Fuller said. “One of the things I was most excited about in Season 2 was seeing Will Graham hit rock bottom.”

Related: ‘Dexter’ Says Goodbye To Comic-Con

Fans were out in full force to support the series, which wrapped its freshman season down in the ratings. In its first Comic-Con showing since debuting in April (Hannibal had a pre-premiere appearance last year), the show had fans in full Hannibal cosplay turn up at the panel. Star Dancy joined Fuller, exec producer and series director David Slade, and producer Martha De Laurentiis onstage for a panel chat following a gory “amuse bouche” highlights reel. The recap was a reminder of how Hannibal routinely depicts some of the most extreme graphic kills on broadcast TV. Fuller says network suits rarely object. Except on the Season 1 episode “Coquilles,” in which a killer mutilates his victims into angels to watch over him in his sleep. “We had two people who were nude and we saw their buttocks,” Fuller said. “They were dead, they were flayed open, and cracked in many ways. Their butt crack was the least offensive of the ones they were sporting, [but] the network said no. … I asked why, because of the exposed spine and muscle tissue and flayed skin? I said, ‘What if we fill the butt cracks with blood so you can’t see them?’ They said OK.”

Fuller & Co. spoke often and fondly of Red Dragon, the 1981 novel by Thomas Harris that Hannibal is adapted from, joining numerous films (The Silence of the Lambs, Manhunter, Red Dragon) that feature the famous Dr. Hannibal Lecter character. “I was going back to that book until the day we finished shooting,” said Dancy. “I read it a couple of times and tried to let it be in the background.” Slade, whom De Laurentiis announced will direct more episodes, wants to film the book’s real ending into the show’s future. Absent co-star Mads Mikkelsen also got love from the panel. “He screen tested because he was not so well known,” said De Laurentiis of the Danish actor, who at the time was most familiar to stateside audiences for Casino Royale. “But I think he really owns the role now.” Fuller described the take on Lecter that won Mikkelsen his vote. “It was about finding an actor who had a specific take on the character,” said Fuller. “He said he didn’t want to play Anthony Hopkins or Brian Cox. He wanted to play Satan.”

Comments (13)

  • Very much looking forward to the second season of this great show!

    Comment by Tom — Friday July 19, 2013 @ 2:28am PDT  
  • The panel was fantastic! Hard to get into and a few fights for seats (we waited 4 hours), but Bryan and Hugh and the others were so great! Especially when the Fannibals took over asking the questions. Cannot wait for Season Two!

    Comment by Roger — Friday July 19, 2013 @ 5:33am PDT  
  • I was so bummed to miss this – thanks for capturing the highlights! I can’t wait for Season 2!!!!

    Comment by Vikki — Friday July 19, 2013 @ 8:39am PDT  
  • Why was this renewed?

    Comment by Miffy — Friday July 19, 2013 @ 8:48am PDT  
    • Because it’s so good.

      Comment by MoreTears — Friday July 19, 2013 @ 9:25am PDT  
  • I have to say this is a great show especially coming out of NBC. And I have to admit that while I love Dexter, I think Hannibal is far darker.

    Comment by just saying — Friday July 19, 2013 @ 10:48am PDT  
    • Indeed, spectacular work by Dancy and Mikkelsen, I’m so glad they got renewed, can’t wait for the bluray of S1.

      Comment by Dr. Kenneth Noisewater — Friday July 19, 2013 @ 2:36pm PDT  
  • Hannibal is brilliant. Far more intelligent than 99.9% of regular network series. I wish more people would give it a look. Way darker than Dexter. Kudos to NBC for renewing. Best programming you’ve had on in over a decade.

    Comment by Captain Awesome — Friday July 19, 2013 @ 11:57am PDT  
    • I agree and was disappointed that neither star was nominated for an Emmy. (as well as the show) I think Hugh Dancy is fantastic. Did not know of him before this series. So glad I tuned in on the first episode and stayed with the show.

      Comment by bam — Friday July 19, 2013 @ 10:45pm PDT  
  • It’s great NBC renewed it despite horrible ratings. So I hope more viewers come to the show when it returns.

    Comment by DryedMangoez — Friday July 19, 2013 @ 12:58pm PDT  
  • It’s shame this show hasn’t gotten more buzz. Mads Mikkelsen should have the supporting Emmy this year. No one can compete with him. One case where a movie star transitioned seamlessly to TV. Dancy is great as well.

    Sometimes it’s a hard show to stomach, but this show has some of the best acting, writing, and most well-thought out plotlines on TV. One of the few shows I watch for excellence and not necessarily subject matter.

    Comment by MelissaW — Friday July 19, 2013 @ 4:01pm PDT  
  • This is a beautifully well scripted show I was glued to my TV for every episode. Visually stunning , intelligently captivating. I was a big Dexter fan, but after watching Hannibal hands down best Television series NBC has showed in a long time. cant wait for season 2

    Comment by Dave — Saturday August 17, 2013 @ 3:46pm PDT  
  • My two favorite shows. Hannible and grimm. Both very well scripted and the casts are great. Only surprised they are on nbc after the tonight show debacle.

    Comment by Tina — Wednesday September 18, 2013 @ 4:26pm PDT  
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