I think we’re all wondering just how exactly “Heroes” and “Pushing Daisies” producer/writer Bryan Fuller was going to stretch out the story of Thomas Harris’ famous cannibal serial killer Hannibal Lecter into an ongoing network TV series. Would it be a crime procedural with a cop and his “expert” solving crimes ala “The Mentalist”, with Lecter slowly but surely moving to the dark side? Turns out — yeah, pretty much.
In an interview with EW, Fuller explains how he plans to approach “Hannibal”, which recently just cast Hugh Dancy as FBI agent Will Graham:
It’s before he was incarcerated, so he’s more of a peacock. There is a cheery disposition to our Hannibal. He’s not being telegraphed as a villain. If the audience didn’t know who he was, they wouldn’t see him coming. What we have is Alfred Hitchcock’s principle of suspense — show the audience the bomb under the table and let them sweat when it’s going to go boom. So the audience knows who Hannibal is so we don’t have to overplay his villainy. We get to subvert his legacy and give the audience twists and turns.
Unlike other network shows, “Hannibal” will only have to shoulder 13-episode seasons, with the first season already fully greenlit by NBC. Fuller, though, plans to only play the crime procedural card for two seasons, before “outing” Lecter:
It really is a love story, for lack of a better description, between these two characters. As Hannibal has said [to Graham] in a couple of the movies, ‘You’re a lot more like me than you realize.’ We’ll get to the bottom of exactly what that means over the course of the first two seasons. But we’re taking our sweet precious time.
Fuller also reveals that familiar characters from the Lecter franchise will appear in the show, including FBI boss Jack Crawford, along with Dr. Alan Bloom and tabloid journalist Freddy Lounds. The two latter characters will become women on the show, whereas they were both men in the books and movies. “Starbucking”, Fuller calls it, referring of course to the infamous gender switch of Starbuck on Ron Moore’s “Battlestar Galactica” TV show from the Glen Larson original. That one got the fanboys all riled up. I don’t see anyone caring too much about Fuller’s Starbucking, though.
Fuller also talks about his desire to reboot “Star Trek” on the tube, but that seems unlikely with J.J. Abrams still in full control of the franchise, and I don’t see that control freak handing over the reins anytime soon.