This Planned 'Hannibal' Death Was Too Gruesome for NBC

Over the course of its three seasons, Hannibal never shied away from showing grisly and gruesome gore, which comes as no surprise when it's a show that focuses on a serial killing cannibal. Show creator Bryan Fuller recently revealed that one sequence was rejected by NBC, which featured a disemboweling by way of a ceiling fan.

In the Season 1 episode "Rôti," serial killer Dr. Abel Gideon (Eddie Izzard) has been tying up loose ends and killing all of his former psychiatrists. His preferred method of execution was a "Colombian Necktie," in which he would open up his victim's throat and pull their tongue out through the opening. Shockingly, the network was okay with depicting these crimes, but one planned sequence was supposed to be much more gruesome.

The sequence involved one of his victims having his torso cut open with his innards connected to a ceiling fan. When the character Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) entered the office and flipped on a light switch, the spinning fan would then pull out his intestines.

“[It] essentially disembowels him by spinning the fan, all in one fell swoop," Fuller explained to Entertainment Weekly. "That was the only one where NBC was like, ‘I just don’t know how you’re going to do it.'"

This stumbling block forced Fuller to reconsider the scene and realized the difficulties of pulling off such an elaborate and disgusting sequence.

"We would have pushed back if we also hadn’t been told that financially we didn’t know how we could afford to produce such a gag,because you have intestines swinging around a ceiling fan," Fuller confessed.

Despite the sequence never coming to fruition, Fuller stills seems to be a fan of the execution at a conceptual level.

"It’ll probably end up in something," Fuller teased.


Given that Fuller has been working on the adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods for Starz, which has a higher budget and higher threshold for censorship, we won't be surprised to see that gag make its way into the series' next season.

[H/T Entertainment Weekly]