Hannibal’s third season will include the arch planned for season four. Does that mean the Red Dragon is coming?

At a Hannibal San Diego Comic-Con panel yesterday, series creator Bryan Fuller discussed the next season of the psychological thriller, a surprising return appearance, and his disappointment about the lack of Emmy nominations. The biggest surprise (to me) was the reveal that the format of the series would be changing. The first half of the season will contain the arch originally planned for season three, while the second half of the season is the story planned for season four.

Way back before the conclusion of the first season of Hannibal, Fuller explained that he had a vision prepared for seven seasons of the series. In an interview with Assignment X, Fuller shared some of those plans, “Season Four is Red Dragon, and that’s when Hannibal is incarcerated.”

While most of the Hannibal series serves as a form of prequel/reinterpretation of the original Red Dragon novel by Thomas Harris, the actual plot of the novel has not been touched. So far, the series has focused on the background stories of the characters hinted at in the novels surrounding Hannibal Lecter. According to the interview, Fuller’s plan was to make three seasons of prequel, developing the relationship between Lecter and series protagonist Will Graham and dedicate a season to each of the novels, Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal.

Given the change to the formatting, we should expect to see Red Dragon villain Francis Dollarhyde (aka The Tooth Fairy aka The Red Dragon) to appear in this coming season. Although speculation is that we’ve already seen his handiwork in the television series.

Fuller also shared his disappointment in Hannibal not receiving any Emmy nods. The show is gorgeous and while it contains some of the most grotesque imagery on television (yes, more then Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead), it is done so beautifully that it is impossible to look away. Fuller said of not getting nominated, “It’s always disappointing because you work very hard with amazing crafts people who are doing exemplary work.”

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Beyond the brutal murders and horrific crime scenes, the series also features camera and lighting work in every scene that fans feel deserves recognition. Still, Fuller is understanding of the lack of Emmy nominations, “There’s such amazing television shows now. We really are in such a fantastic golden era, and the competition is very, very high.”

Fans of Fuller, who also created the cult series Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me, and Wonderfalls can also look forward to his collaboration with Neil Gaiman and fellow Heroes alum Michael Green on the Starz series American Gods.

Spoilers for season two and more specific details about season three on the following page.

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Spoilers for season two and more specific details about season three ahead.

When season two ended, most of the cast was either dead or near death, save for the title character. Season three will pick up a year after the brutal, blood-soaked, and heartbreaking finale of season two. That episode ended with a Hannibal on the run and the three other major characters knocking on deaths door. While Will certainly survived getting gutted (a major part of this character in the Red Dragon novel), the fate of Crawford and Bloom could still change from the novels. After all, other characters from later in the books have met their end.

Fuller was very willing to share specifics from the first episodes of the third season, as well. The fourth episode will cover the events that occurred between season two and three. Commander Pazzi, Lady Murasaki, and Cordell are introduced in the second, third, and fourth episodes, respectively. Pazzi was a corrupt police officer in Hannibal, Lady Murasaki was Lecter’s aunt from Hannibal Rising, and Cordell is the private physician of Mason Verger, who was introduced (and impaired by Lecter) last season.

Fuller also mentioned the return of a character that didn’t make it through season two. After dining on his own leg, Dr. Abel Gideon was killed by Dr Lecter. His portrayal by Eddie Izzard was so well-received by audiences that he will return in a flashback at some point in season three.

Also at the Hannibal panel was Raul Esparza, who portrayed the deceased Dr. Frederick Chilton. However, as he was introduced, his character was described as someone “who got shot in the face and was presumed dead.” Is Chilton returning? I liked the role he played in the later stories of Dr Lecter, so I hope so.

Hannibal does not have a date for a third season. The series received a late renewal as the second season ended, so a late 2014 or early 2015 premiere is expected.

Source: Deadline

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