Another day, another story about the Hannibal season that never was. Hannibal was a beautiful tropical fish of a show, but it was also so strange and otherworldly that it’s a miracle it lasted more than one season. But it did. In fact, it lasted three seasons, and while I think the final episode of season 3 serves as a pretty damn good series finale, there has always been hope that someone would swoop in and rescue the show for season 4. The folks involved with the series have held onto this hope as well, and over the years, creator Bryan Fuller and his cast and crew have shared their fantasies of Hannibal season 4.
Now, Hannibal himself, Mads Mikkelsen, is once again talking about how much he’d like to slip back into one of Hannibal’s cool suits and chow down on some humans.
Hannibal ended just before the show could get to the material from Silence of the Lambs, but creator Bryan Fuller has talked in the past about how he hoped to eventually bring in Clarice Starling. But the series was canceled after three seasons, and even if it hadn’t been, there were still obstacles. Because while Fuller had the rights to material from the Hannibal Lecter novels Red Dragon and Hannibal, he did not have the rights to Silence of the Lambs, which was still owned by MGM at the time Hannibal was in production. Hannibal still dropped references to material from Silence of the Lambs, but it couldn’t legally use characters like Clarice Starling or Buffalo Bill.
Still, Fuller held out hope that if Hannibal ever returned for season 4. He would finally be able to start adapting Silence of the Lambs stuff. Sadly, that seems even more unlikely now, as MGM went ahead and signed the rights over to CBS to develop their own TV series, which is called Clarice and stars Rebecca Breeds as the FBI Agent originally played by Jodie Foster in the Silence of the Lambs movie.
But Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen is still holding onto hope. “I don’t think it’s a secret that if it does happen, we would love to go into Silence of the Lambs,” the actor told IndieWire. “That’s always been an issue because they didn’t have the rights for that book. But that’s obviously the most famous part and we’d love to go in there. We’d obviously switch it around a little and do all kinds of crazy stuff with it. That story is so interesting and the characters in it are as interesting. We’d switch around the genders and maybe even put two characters into one. We would love to find someone to play Buffalo Bill. That’s going to be tough. We found a Hannibal, so it’s possible.”
Mikkelsen even has some fan casting in mind for Buffalo Bill, and, curiously enough. It’s someone who already appeared on Hannibal: Michael Pitt. Who played the evil Mason Verger in season 2 of the show (Joe Anderson took over the role for season 3). “We already used Michael Pitt for Mason and that was fantastic. If he wasn’t playing Mason I’d love to see him as Buffalo Bill,” Mikkelsen said.
Look: I loved Hannibal. It was a gorgeous, haunting, gory, sexy show. I freely admit when the series was first announced I rolled my eyes at the idea. But then I gave it a shot and was amazed that something of that caliber existed. And existed on network TV of all places. That said, I honestly think the series wrapped things up nicely, and it’s okay to let the show end. Would I be against a revival? No, of course not. But I really think the ship has sailed. But fans will continue to hold onto hope, and as Mikkelsen says: “The show is becoming bigger and bigger. The greater the breaks between seasons, the more people become followers.”