‘Hannibal’ cast and creatives discuss Red Dragon and cancellation at SDCC panel

Hannibal attended San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday with a panel in Ballroom 20 comprising of executive producers Bryan Fuller and Martha De Laurentiis and cast members Hugh Dancy (our beloved Will Graham) and Richard Armitage, the long-anticipated Francis Dolarhyde. The antlers and flower crowns were plentiful and spirits were high for this fan-favorite event known officially as the “Pannibal.”

“It Takes Two To Catch One”
The panel kicked off with a first look at an extended trailer for the rest of season 3, focusing on Richard Armitage’s Francis Dolarhyde character, the serial killer initially known as the Tooth Fairy. We see him going through the process of getting his infamous William Blake back tattoo to become the Red Dragon. The trailer also offers a sneak peek at what Hannibal’s existing leads are up to, touching on Hannibal Lecter being imprisoned and declared insane, his mentorship of the Tooth Fairy, and his reunion with Will Graham in order to catch the same killer he’s been admiring.

Fans were also excited to see a clip of Zachary Quinto’s guest-starring role as an ex-patient of Hannibal’s, shouting at Gillian Anderson’s Bedelia, and the introduction of Dolarhyde’s blind love interest, Reba McClane. Ominously, we hear Hannibal telling Dolarhyde “Save yourself. Kill them all.”

The Great Red Dragon
Richard Armitage was thrilled to join the Hannibal cast onstage and discuss his creation of the Dolarhyde/Tooth Fairy/Red Dragon character. Armitage also used the novel to inspire his performance, stating that his starting point for everything about Dolarhyde was that he was a man who was uncomfortable in his own skin. Both Will and Hannibal will feel drawn to Dolarhyde because he’ll remind each one of the other – Will Graham will see Francis Dolarhyde as a version of Hannibal Lecter he could save, and Hannibal will see Dolarhyde as a version of Will that he could corrupt.

Fuller and Armitage also discussed the dialling back of Dolarhyde’s sexual deviance, with the actor mentioning the character’s innocent childlike mind and the showrunner reminding the audience of his promise to not tell unnecessary rape stories and that Dolarhyde’s crimes would be more of a violent assault on the family unit.

“I think you should only do a rape story when you can dedicate a lot of real estate to telling the story of what that violation means to everyone involved,” he explained. “It’s there if you want to see it, but I didn’t want to see it myself.”

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