We’re just getting started with Hannibal’s third season, and the show has already broken our hearts, made us cringe, and given us plenty of reasons to stay away from Italy. So what can we expect from the rest of season three?
Showrunner Bryan Fuller chatted with attendees gathered at the ATX Television Festival in Austin last weekend about what’s in store.
Potential spoilers are ahead…
What’s Next For Abigail’s Ghost?
Though Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl) may be dead (for real this time), this doesn’t mean this is the last we’ve seen of her character. She exists in the memory palace of Will (Hugh Dancy), and will be back in episode nine via flashback. Fuller said: “We bring her back in episode nine. We do flashbacks of what her life was like with Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) when she was supposed to be dead, so that’s coming up later this season. I love Kacey Rohl. I want to keep writing for her, and I have more plans for Abigail’s ghost in the future.”
Fuller also revealed that the writers initially considered keeping the delusion of Abigail’s survival alive for several episodes, but eventually decided it would be dishonest to the audience. Bryan explained: “Since this episode was about the grieving process and how tragic is was for Will to be reunited with her only to see her murdered moments later, he needed closure as a character with Abigail Hobbs and so it felt organic to Fight Club her in a way for Will and also write a poem to grief. And he sincerely is mourning her loss.”
When will Hannibal and Will be reunited?
Though Will and Hannibal came close to reuniting in the Palermo catacombs during the second episode of the season, they remain estranged. How long will this last for? Fuller would only reveal that it would happen “later in the season” and that their reunion would be “powerful.” This was part of a larger strategy of revitalizing all of the central characters with new “storytelling partners.” Fuller explained…
“If the first season was the bromance and the second season was the nasty breakup, the third season is really how do you find closure with a relationship that has fallen apart, when both parties are so damaged by what’s happened. Separating C-3PO and R2D2 in The Empire Strikes Back was kind of like, ‘Well, let’s just get them apart and give everybody a new dance partner. And so Hannibal has Bedelia [Gillian Anderson] and Will has Hannibal in this episode and he has Chiyo, played by Tao Okamoto in the third episode, who’s wonderful. We see Jack [Laurence Fishburne] with Pazzi and we see Alana [Caroline Dhavernas] with the Vergers. So everybody has a new partner in storytelling.”
What can we expect from the “Red Dragon” storyline?
While the first half of Hannibal season three will tell the story of Hannibal’s time in Italy, the second half of the season will embrace the story of Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage), aka the serial killer known as the “Red Dragon.” Dolarhyde will make his first appearance in Episode 8 with a completely non-dialogue episode featuring the killer “struggling with his sanity.” Fuller elaborated…
“What I love about the novel Red Dragon is that you have so much sympathy for Francis Dolarhyde because he’s a man who’s clearly struggling with his sanity and losing that battle. And trying to do the right thing and falling in love and seeing humanity and light for the first time and wondering if he’s on the right path or not. So, what we did with our version of it: we met him as he was going insane.”
Fuller also expressed his excitement regarding Dolarhyde’s relationship with Reba McClane (Rutina Wesley): “That was one of the things I was so excited about with Red Dragon is that relationship between Reba McClane and Francis Dolarhyde. It’s one of the most romantic relationships I’ve read where you have this guy who’s taking this blind woman to the zoo to see the animals and arranged for her to pet the tiger. It’s so romantic and the man who thought of that gesture is a horrible murderer of families, so it goes back to Socrates saying good and terrible can exist in the same human being.”
When will Zachary Quinto return?
You may have missed Zachary Quinto’s flashback cameo as Bedelia’s dead patient in Hannibal’s season three premiere, but we’ll get another chance to see the Star Trek actor appear on the show. He will appear in three flashback scenes in an upcoming episode. Unfortunately, this was all that Quinto’s busy shooting schedule would allow. However, the actor was determined to appear on the show. Fuller explained how the casting went down…
“We worked together on Heroes and we’re friends and we’ve been trying to figure out how to cross paths again and I called him in at the beginning of the season and asked him if he wanted to play Dimmond, and he said, ‘I’m not available, but shit I love Gillian Anderson. I wish I could do scenes with Gillian Anderson.’ I was like, ‘Well, I’ll write this other role for you and you can play her patient.’ And he was like, ‘I’m so busy.’ And I said, ‘Give me a day and a half and we’ll get you in. We’ll do three great scenes. It will be like a one-act play with you and Gillian.’ And that’s what we did, and it’s great.”