Though the series has been off the air for years, the Hannibal television series continues to find success with new viewers on streaming services. The series appeared in full on Netflix earlier this year and quickly jumped into the official Netflix Top 10. Just as when it was announced that the series was ending, interest from fans about season four or any other kind of follow-up has remained high. In a new interview, series creator Bryan Fuller has revealed what it would take for that to happen, and the lengths that they've gone to to try and get more out of Will Graham and Dr. Lector.
“Martha De Laurentiis controls the rights for the Hannibal character," Fuller told Collider. "[Gaumont International Television], who produced the Hannibal series that we worked on, has the rights to those characters and those situations. So if we want to continue telling the tales we were telling, Gaumont needs to be involved, Martha De Laurentiis needs to be involved. Then of course we need a network to platform us.”
Fuller also spoke about the prospect of this happening, but was quick to note that it doesn't seem likely it will happen anytime soon. He did note that he has plans for what could happen in a revival and that he's spoken with stars Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen about what would happen.
“I wish there was something that was definitive," Fuller added. "I’ve had conversations with Hugh and Mads and the cast, in terms of like, ‘This is what we would do if we were allowed to come back.’ There’s some ideas that I’m very excited about that continue the strange trajectory of season 3. But I have not been approached."
Though Fuller didn't go into it this time, there's another wrinkle in the rights of Thomas Harris' character and any future Hannibal stories. The rights to the second novel in the Lecter books, The Silence of the Lambs, is owned by MGM, which takes the events of that story and the character of Clarice Starling off the table entirely. Clarice will appear in a self-titled TV series (unrelated to NBC's Hannibal) from co-creators Jenny Lumet and Alex Kurtzman. Rebecca Breeds will star as the character in the series which takes place six months after The Silence of the Lambs. The series, which will seemingly not feature Dr. Lecter but perhaps a reference to him, will debut mid-season in 2021 on CBS.