What Happened to Bryan Fuller’s Christopher Nolan-Inspired Sequel That Mads Mikkelsen is Dying to Return to?

The much-awaited Hannibal Season 4 is still not in the cards for NBC or any other studio. The critically acclaimed series, starring Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy, was canceled after its three-season run due to low viewership. While the creators and actors are dying to return for a new season, the high production cost may be a factor preventing the studios from giving it the green light.

Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter in HannibalMads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal
Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal

Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller previously revealed that he had pitched a storyline for a potential fourth season to Mikkelsen and Dancy. According to Fuller, both actors were keen to do the story, which drew inspiration from Christopher Nolan’s Inception and Alan Parker’s Angel Heart.

Also Read: Mads Mikkelsen Is Better Off Without Hannibal Season 4 — The Story Goes Nowhere But Downhill From Here

Bryan Fuller Remains Hopeful About Reviving Hannibal For A Fourth Season

Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller in an interviewHannibal creator Bryan Fuller in an interview
Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller in an interview

Hannibal is widely regarded as one of the finest works in the television horror genre. The series explores the relationship between FBI criminal profiler Will Graham and forensic psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter, who is secretly a serial killer. Despite the show’s cult following, NBC canceled the series in June 2015.

Soon after the cancellation, creator Bryan Fuller tried to revive the series for a fourth season, entering into discussions with various streaming platforms. However, an exclusive streaming deal with Amazon made it difficult for other platforms to pick up the series. Fuller’s negotiations with Amazon fell through as they imposed strict deadlines for the project, which were not feasible at that time.

In 2017, Fuller appeared in an interview with director Mick Garris on the latter’s podcast, Post Mortem with Mick Garris. He revealed that he had pitched a storyline for a potential fourth season to Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy. According to the American Gods developer, this story would have represented “an interesting next chapter in the relationship between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter.” (via Entertainment Weekly)

Later that same year, the creator offered a glimpse into what a potential Season 4 might look like when he appeared at the Split Screens Festival. He shared that the new season “was going to be Inception meets Angel Heart” (via IndieWire). While Christopher Nolan’s film was a take on reality and dreams, the Robert De Niro starring film was a psychological thriller centered around a private investigator.

In 2022, Fuller once again expressed his readiness for the fourth season. During an interview with ScreenRealm, Bryan Fuller revealed that Mikkelsen and Dancy are “both dying to come back”. He also hinted that a fourth season would focus on the new characters Dr. Alana Bloom and Margot Verger. He emphasized that he hadn’t given up hope on the project.

In his interview with Nerdist in April 2023, Fuller used three words to tease the potential season 4 of the series, “Lurid, Erotic, Intimacy.” He added that those who did not enjoy season 3 may not find season 4 appealing as well.

Also Read: “He’s like a fallen angel”: Mads Mikkelsen Gets Nostalgic About Hannibal While Fans Clamor to Get Season 4 Green-Lit After Series Cancellation

Hugh Dancy Opened Up About The Possibilities Of Hannibal Season 4

Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in HannibalMads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in Hannibal
Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in Hannibal

In a recent interview with Collider, Hugh Dancy shared the disappointing news that, despite the enthusiasm of everyone involved, a Season 4 was not in the cards. Dancy mentioned that the show cost a lot of money, which was one of the primary reasons for its cancellation. He pointed out that even the streamers were cutting their budgets for popular shows, leading to cancellations after one or two seasons. The Law & Order actor shared with Collider:

“I’m talking about the cost of making a season of television. For a while, it seemed like the streamers were gonna be everybody’s savior, in that respect, but now there’s been a cutoff there. There are shows that are watched by millions of people that don’t make it past a second season. So, I have no idea what that calculation is.”

Also Read: “We’re running out of time”: Mads Mikkelsen Reveals Exciting Update About Hannibal While Indiana Jones 5 Red Carpet Event

Dancy also expressed another major concern about the show’s revival. He revealed that the cast, including himself and Mads Mikkelsen, couldn’t wait much longer, as they would likely age out of their roles. Despite his interest in returning for a fourth season, Dancy shared that he was content with the current conclusion. Hannibal series is now available for streaming on Hulu.

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