At a dinner event to promote today's release of the third and (so far) final season of Hannibal, Bryan Fuller confirmed that he hasn't given up on our favorite well-dressed cannibal just yet. When asked if we should start referring to the show in the past tense, Fuller was quick to assure us we shouldn't:
Martha [De Laurentiis] and I keep talking... I would love to let the show lie low for a few years, treat it like Sherlock on BBC. And then relaunch with Hannibal: Silence of the Lambs.
Of course, any "Fannibal" knows that the rights to the particulars of Silence of the Lambs are tied up with MGM, which is why Clarice, Jame Gumb, etc never appeared on the show. But those rights aren't locked away forever:
We can reapply for the rights in two years and see what we could get going. For me as a fan of Thomas Harris I want to see Mads Mikkelsen [do that story]. There are some ways to make a meal of that story for a TV series. Silence of the Lambs is a perfect film, there's not going to be a better film. And MGM feels the same way. So we would do it the same way we did Red Dragon... we'd flash back to him finding out about Jame Gumb.
It was noisy so that last part is missing some phrases, but if I understood Fuller correctly, they wouldn't be doing a direct translation of the novel, but (as they did with Red Dragon) applying the overall story to their current, largely original saga (don't forget, Will Graham plays no real part in the original Silence novel). Whether that means Hannibal would be free when meeting with Clarice, or flashing back to his incarcerated period (season 3) and saying "Oh yeah in between fucking up Will Graham's life for good I met up with this other FBI agent," I'm not sure, but both Fuller and De Laurentiis seemed dedicated to the TV show format (albeit an abridged season like Sherlock offers, at least in Fuller's case - De Laurentiis wants another 13 episodes). Here's hoping it works out, and buying the new season on Blu-ray is definitely a step in the right direction, as Tumblr fan art alone isn't going to bring this one back.