Tattlers and Fannibals, I am so pleased to bring this to you. I was lucky enough to sit down with Bryan Fuller himself and ask some of the questions that I was dying to know the answers to.
This article is FULL OF SPOILERS for upcoming seasons/the books/the movies so you are warned!
FREDDIE: First off, let me say congratulations! How do you feel about being renewed?
BRYAN: I’m very excited that we get to continue telling this chapter of the Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham story. The end of Season 1 would have been an interesting place to end the series, but also a very frustrating one.
FREDDIE: Your favorite part of working on the show?
BRYAN: My favorite parts are during the beginning before a frame is shot and the very end as it airs and we share with the audience. The plotting of the season arcs was incredibly satisfying for me creatively and I loved discussing stories and characters with the writing staff. We came up with some nice twists… and then the hard part was figuring out how to execute them.
FREDDIE: Your favorite character?
BRYAN: I have so many. I relate most to Will Graham, but I love Hannibal’s devilry. And on the subject of devilry, Freddie Lounds has her own brand that is thoroughly enjoyable to write. So thank you for that, Ms. Lounds.
FREDDIE: You’re VERY welcome! You do a wonderful job with me.
FREDDIE: Expectations for season 2? What are you most looking forward to in the second season?
BRYAN: Will Graham hitting rock bottom and coming out swinging.
FREDDIE: I know we are seeing some of the murders performed by the “Tooth Fairy”, should we expect him to show his face in season two?
BRYAN: You won’t see his face, but you may see another one of his crimes.
FREDDIE: If there was any scene in the books you could film right now what would it be?
BRYAN: I’m looking forward to seeing Hannibal in his Mind Palace frescoing the walls.
FREDDIE: What scene in the books are you most looking forward to filming?
BRYAN: Francis Dolarhyde’s conversations with the Red Dragon.
FREDDIE: Your favourite scene you’ve filmed so far?
BRYAN: Franklyn Froideveaux’s last therapy session with Dr. Lecter is a favorite.
FREDDIE: I’ve heard that you have seven seasons outlined, is that true?
BRYAN: I have character arcs that would take us through Season 7.
FREDDIE: The art in the show seems very purposeful, did you choose the pieces themselves?
BRYAN: On most occasions, our wonderful Production Designers Patti Podesta and Matthew Davies would present me options and then I get to choose.
FREDDIE: Are there any props from the movies we should keep an eye out for?
BRYAN: There is a particular Opera featured prominently in the film HANNIBAL that will have a very poignant placement in the finale. A different kind of prop.
FREDDIE: Hannigram, Yes or no? We’ve heard it said that Will is going to have a relationship next season, is Hannigram too risque?
BRYAN: HanniGraham is not too risqué. In fact, I would argue that HanniGraham is already in play – just not physically. Hannibal is absolutely intrigued by Will Graham and has genuine feelings for him. And Will Graham, at this stage of their relationship, trusts Hannibal more than any other person. There is a genuine intimacy to how these two men have connected.
FREDDIE: Tell us about the Ravenstag.
BRYAN: RavenStag is a manifestation of Will’s subconscious mind. It is the amalgamation of the severed stag head from Aperitif and the ravens picking at the dead girl mounted on its antlers. Essentially, this is Will’s very first association with the true Hannibal Lecter, he has yet to meet.
FREDDIE: You’ve mentioned plans for Mason and Margot Verger - VERY excited for this personally - will the level of tension be the same between the siblings? Will Judy be part of the show or will this be the very beginning, will we get to see Mason pre-mirror breaking, maybe even get to know him?
BRYAN: Very excited about telling Mason Verger’s story and his pivotal relationship with his sister Margot. We will be seeing a chapter of their lives only suggested at in the novel HANNIBAL. Like Will Graham’s story before RED DRAGON explored in the TV series HANNIBAL, this Mason and Margot Verger will be evolving into who they become in the literature, but not necessarily there yet.
FREDDIE: On the subject of girlfriends, will Freddie be getting a Wendy? Everyone has been hoping for a Wendy (and not a Wendel!) to show up.
BRYAN: I love Freddie having a Wendy.
FREDDIE: Changing [my] Freddie Lounds’ gender completely changes the dynamic between her and the “Tooth Fairy”, will it change the manner in how she dies? Any chance of survival!?
BRYAN: There may be slight adjustments but the goal is to stay true to that unfortunate fate for Freddie. If you recall, in the literature, Freddie survives the flaming wheelchair, at least for a short period of time.
FREDDIE: [Added comment by me post-answer] I am SO glad you mention Freddy’s survival of the event, when he gives the license plate of the van and the short time he’s alive in the hospital really makes him something of a hero, a reporter to the end, and NONE of the media that has had Mr. Lounds in it has given him that sympathetic almost heroic angle, so I am very pleased that Freddie will get that
FREDDIE: Everyone loves Will Graham, but we all are anticipating Agent Starling’s appearance. Since the show varies a bit from the book canon could we potentially see a team-up between the two?
BRYAN: That matter is entirely in the hands of MGM, who own the rights to the CLARICE STARLING character. I would love to collaborate with them and incorporate Clarice into the show. Time will tell!
FREDDIE: What’s it like working with such well known characters? Were you nervous ever? Is it more difficult to put a new spin on existing characters or to write original characters?
BRYAN: One of the gifts of this series has been Thomas Harris already doing the bulk of the heavy lifting. Its more difficult to write original character in one sense. Having already seen Thomas Harris’ characters in action, I knew they already worked. Creating an original character can have a small element of doubt.
FREDDIE: What lead you to change the sex of some of the characters?
BRYAN: It was really about needing more female energy infused into the world. There was a moment we were considering a Jackie Crawford.
FREDDIE: What inspired you to bring Hannibal to TV?
BRYAN: I knew the project would get made with or without me. I wanted to make sure whatever version got made was one I wanted to watch.
FREDDIE: Have you gotten to work with Mr. Harris directly for this? He’s terribly elusive, hard to get an interview with! (It’s a life-long goal of mine to get that interview!!) If so, what’s it been like working with him, I hear he is a gentleman and scholar!
BRYAN: I have had no direct contact with Mr. Harris. I hope I get the opportunity to meet him and would adore collaborating with him on the series.
FREDDIE: What’s your favorite food? Your favorite dish from the show?
BRYAN: My favorite food is sushi. My favorite dish from the show would be a soup made from the mushrooms harvested from Eldon Stammets’ victims in Amuse Bouche.
FREDDIE: Your thoughts on the Emmys? If you could have the show win only one Emmy what would it be? Your top three!
BRYAN: If I could only have one, it would be Hugh Dancy winning for Best Actor. He’s taken Will Graham on a journey that could have easily alienated the audience, but he tucked us all under his arm and braved the path.
If I could have three, Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen and Laurence Fishburne winning for Best Actor and Supporting Actors. Since two of those actors are in the same category, my official third would be David Slade winning for his beautiful and terrifying direction.
FREDDIE: Fan questions- I have to ask the two I hear the most. Is there going to be a kiss between Will and Hannibal, and will you be sticking to the actual ending of Hannibal where Clarice and Dr. Lecter wind up together?
BRYAN: No plans as of yet for a kiss between Will and Hannibal. (Never say never.) And I may not ever have the rights to the Clarice Starling so some deviation from that story may be required. Boo.
FREDDIE: Are there plans to bring Molly/Willy into the show in the future?
FREDDIE: What’s it like to be so in-touch with your fanbase for this show?
BRYAN: Very rewarding. It’s nice to be amongst individuals as passionate about the show as I am.
FREDDIE: If you could say anything to the “Fannibals” what would it be?
BRYAN: Thank you so very much.
FREDDIE: Would you ever actually, given the chance to legally (or illegally without consequence) partake of “Long Pork” knowingly? >:3
BRYAN:Was the long pork acquired humanely?
Freddie: Yes the long pork was acquired humanely. Eat or no?” XD
Bryan: If Chef Jose Andres did something irresistible with it, I imagine I would have to have a taste.
FREDDIE: Alcohol used in the show? Whiskey? Beer? Wine? What’s Hannibal and the rest of the crew drinking? (In particular, I had a request from a Fannibal who need to know what that Whiskey Jack and Hannibal were drinking is!)
BRYAN: I’ll have to find out what exact brand Hannibal and Jack are drinking, but it should be DALMORE. If only for the insignia:
FREDDIE: And last but not least, would you say you enjoy lighting reporters on fire/allowing them to be lit on fire?
BRYAN: I do not enjoy it, no. But that’s not to say I wouldn’t take advantage of the situation. XO