While some filmmakers and show runners are all about insane levels of secrecy regarding their work, "Hannibal" producer Bryan Fuller has no such fears and is happy to talk openly about events in the upcoming third season of the acclaimed NBC series.
The show's panel yesterday at the San Diego Comic Con did just that with the presence of an actor who is returning that many thought was left for dead last season - Dr. Fredrick Chilton (played by Raul Esparza). Despite being shot in the face, it seems Chilton is still alive and will play a huge part of season three. Esparza says no matter what kind of awful mishaps happen to the twisted psychiatrist, Fuller always reassures him that he'll survive.
Fuller confirms that the introduction of various characters from Harris' books will come thick and fast next year. The second episode sees the introduction of Commander Pazzi (played by Giancarlo Giannini in the Ridley Scott film), episode three introduces Lady Murasaki, episode four introduces Mason Verger's private physician Cordell Doemling, and episode eight introduces Francis Dollarhyde.
Season three will start a year after the season two finale in order to join the characters at their "most active point. We want to be very vague with who survived that bloody, bloody night." Episode four will then deal with the events of that missing year.
The procedural structure of the prior two seasons is out the window, with FBI only involved in one episode of the first seven as the show shifts the focus on the pursuit of Hannibal going forward. That key role of Lady Murasaki, Hannibal's Japanese aunt, has yet to be cast.
A while back Fuller revealed a multi-year plan for the show when it was first conceived. That is reportedly still in effect, but there will be some story compression going on now which will result in next year essentially being a split season.
What was to have been Season 3 and 4 will be joined together into one season now but it won't need any real writing - which means there's effectively a finale at the halfway point, followed by a new story unfolding from the following week.
The cuisine theme in the titles next season will be Italian. Finally, Fuller was asked if we'll ever see a musical episode to which he says no, but "I would love to see a surreal musical number in Hannibal's mind palace. I want to see Mads Mikkelsen dancing like Christopher Walken in 'Weapon of Choice'".