I had the pleasure of sitting in on a conference call with Bryan Fuller. What follows is a quick summary. A complete transcript of the call will be up soon.
Bryan first talked about the decision to make Bedelia Du Maurier an accomplice. Much of her interaction with Hannibal is centered around the idea of self-identification.
Bryan: “She’s in control (…). And the relationship between Hannibal and Bedelia is one of darkness.”
But there’s a genuine feeling between them, different from Hannibal’s relationship with Will, which is more passionate. But it definitely goes beyond the relationship of a patient and a psychiatrist.
The most important element to their story however is control. Bedelia is in full control and she has a plan.
Bryan also elaborated on his favorite scene and explained how season 3 is a very character-driven story that elevates each character.
Bryan: “There’s a dinner scene in episode 7.” Mason Verger is hosting and Gillian Anderson brings something funny into it. He calls it the best dinner scene ever!
Delving deeper into the relationship between Hannibal and Will, Bryan also talked about characters being broken and eventually being reborn. This applies to everyone. But in Will’s and Hannibal’s case it’s also a dynamic process.
It’s about a bromance, a nasty breakup. And in the end both of them need to find a “point of closure.” They realize what they have lost.
Beyond that, Jack also plays a role in an incredibly intimate storyline. He has to deal with losing Will, recruiting him and then losing him again.
Moving further, Bryan also talked about Richard Armitage’s performance and how much “gravity and earnestness” he brings into his role.
We are dealing with a triangle, because Dolarhyde’s madness also serves as a reflection of Will and Hannibal’s relationship, the corruption of a soul. And it also challenges the audience with a serial killer story that goes beyond what we typically expect. Richard has done “an amazing job” at that.
As for the setting in season 3, Bryan explained that the first episodes are essentially a combination of Hannibal and Hannibal Rising. The second chapter however, starting in episode 8, is all about the events told in Red Dragon.
Bryan wants to shake up the sense of familiarity we as audience have with the source material. There’s also an adult element to the story, which breaks boundaries and sets a statement to the backward world we live in.
There will be a lesbian love scene involving Alana and Margot Verger. It’s described as erotic and sensual and completely unusual for network TV shows. It tells a story that people usually refuse to tell, which I think was the highlight for me.
In fact, Bryan talked about his love for the ladies, especially for Alana, who will undergo perhaps the “greatest change”. He elaborated on Hannibal’s influence on all these strong female characters and how they assert themselves, how they deal with the corruption they are faced with. And how Hannibal’s story isn’t just driven by Will and Hannibal, but the ensemble that enriches their characters and vice versa.
He also talked about a lady we know too well. Clarice Starling. Bryan hoped for a different portrayal and considered what it would mean if she were portrayed as non-white. It would give us her “view of the world” in relation to race, which opens up new possibilities in terms of storytelling.
There were many interesting discussions about the human body, aesthetics and a potential exhibition. At some point, I actually did get hungry…which was just creepy.
NBC Hannibal returns Thursday, June, 4.
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