Hannibal: Silence of the Lambs mini-series talk.

Bryan Fuller hints at a hopes for a return of everyone’s favourite TV chef.

We bear some potentially good tidings for fannibals everywhere, following news that the rights to Silence of the Lambs are due to revert ownership back to Martha De Laurentiis in 2017. In light of this, creator Bryan Fuller has expressed his wished to continue with the universe of Dr. Lector, possibly setting straight some of the more divisive elements that saw the curtains fall on the project, or possibly picking it up from an entirely new point in time.

Hannibal ran for three wonderfully esoteric, visceral, gore happy seasons before network NBC canceled the show to pursue other projects, much to the disappointment of fans worldwide (many of whom still haven’t gotten over Deadwood or Firefly, which no, we won’t stop bringing up – ever). Featured alongside shows like Chicago P.D, Law & Order and Blacklist, Hannibal was always a strange choice for the network to go with, although a welcome change to it’s more normal formula programming schedule. For a creative project with so many huge names both on screen and behind the scenes, Hannibal would have been a perfect addition to the roster of any of the established drama based production companies; AMC, HBO, BBC, or streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. Nevertheless, it was under the NBC banner, and even though marketed very much in the manner of it’s more rigid episodic endeavors, Hannibal represented something entirely different to the rest of the selection on offer. Adventurous, avant-garde, artful and unrelentingly grotesque, it played with notions of sanity and protagonist, had a superb experimental score to rival any of the Hollywood greats, and was generally captivating, if a little odd… a lot odd.

In part due to it’s poor marketing and in part lack of audience connectivity (piracy could have also played a part), the show was axed. Since then, Fuller has always talked of his hopes to breath fresh life into the world he created. Netflix and Amazon both declined to pick up the show in 2016, but with the rights to a Silence of the Lambs series reverting from MGM this year, it could be just the kick creators need to be able to pick up from, well, wherever in the shows disjointed narrative feels right. Martha De Laurentiis sold the rights to MGM after the small return on Manhunter, and following the success of the Hopkins films they’ve kept onto it, without doing anything with the characters. Astute fans of the Mads Mikkelsen series will notice that it entirely misses out any mention of every character created for Thomas Harris’ second book, as the rights were held elsewhere. Even though as yet all deals with them have fallen through, according to Fuller he and Laurentiis have been talking about the creation of a mini-series, including characters from the most infamous Hannibal Lector chapter just as soon as MGM runs out of time to act on it’s intellectual property.

The ideas being floated around so far included jumping mini-series, from one little narrative to another, often taking a British television approach (Luther, Sherlock) to picking it up for a short time, then dropping it to reflect, before sporadically picking it up again. Fuller himself has said in interviews that a TV shows leaves lots of “nooks and crannies” to explore, that a film might not, and he’d be eager to see Mads himself fill the role of the good Dr once more. Specifically for the team involved, it’s about telling the story of Lector in a way the book doesn’t, something the show always held true to, much to its credit.

As yet nothing has been set in stone, but we’re hopeful that later in the year we’ll start to learn a little more about what’s going on, and if we’re going to get that reboot that we’re all so keenly waiting on. More as it comes.

– Max Colbert