NBC’s ‘Hannibal’ Storyline & Character Details Revealed

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 17th, 2013 at 11:02 am,

It’s safe to say that as the cast for Bryan Fuller’s forthcoming Hannibal series grows, so does interest and speculation as to what this retelling of some of Thomas Harris’ most famed creations will actually consist of. So far, only a few base descriptions of the characters have popped up online, in addition to Fuller talking about his long-term plans for the series.

Now, thanks to Moviehole, a far more detailed description of the series’ pilot exists and it features a rather unique take on one of the main characters.

(WARNING! This article may contain SPOILERS for NBC’s Hannibal series. Read on at your own risk.)

For anyone who has kept up to date on Fuller’s concept for the Munsters reboot, Mockingbird Lane, there was no question that the prospect of him working with other well-established characters such as Hannibal Lecter would also factor in some change. Already, Fuller has swapped the gender of Dr. Alan Bloom to Alana “Al” Bloom, while tabloid journalist Freddy Lounds is now the tabloid blogger Fredricka, but according to the new details on the series, the personality of the main protagonist, Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), has undergone a drastic reimagining.

Instead of the confident, determined investigator Graham appeared to be in films like Michael Mann’s Manhunter (where the character was portrayed by William Petersen) and Brett Ratner’s Red Dragon (with Edward Norton in the role), Fuller’s version of Graham sees him as something of a social outcast, filled to the brim with peculiarities, yet seemingly aware he is struggling with a potential disorder. Apparently, Graham remarks at one point that he may have even Aspergers syndrome. In fact, when the series starts, Graham reportedly is no longer a field agent, due to the complexities of his condition, and has settled into life as an educator - but he is soon called into the field once more.

Despite the fact that Graham’s capabilities are considered the last hope in tracking down the killer known as the “Minnesota Shrike,” Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) believes additional help is required. At the recommendation of Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas), Crawford brings in Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) to assist Graham. Much to Graham’s dismay, Lecter is just as interested in uncovering what makes his new partner tick as he is the “Minnesota Shrike.”

Anthony Hopkins and Edward Norton in Red Dragon NBCs Hannibal Storyline & Character Details Revealed

According to Moviehole, the Hannibal pilot is filled with “juicy dialogue and [an] intriguing mix of characters” - the highlight of which appears to be the interplay between Graham and Lecter (who tend to be paired in situations that afford the latter plenty of opportunities to agitate and psychoanalyze the former, unfortunately for Graham). In addition to hounding Graham, Hannibal is already up to no good, stealing away on occasion to engage in the pastime that will eventually make him infamous.

From the description, Fuller’s prequel series seems to be incorporating plenty of aspects from Thomas Harris’ novels, as well as a different take on the characters that have become so well known through the various films in the series. While the idea of yet another murder-of-the-week-style program is not exactly a high priority, Hannibal may yet prove to be a distinct pleasure amongst the many variations already out there. Besides, with just 13 episodes in the first season, there can’t be too much room for throwaway episodes, which should help trim the fat and keep the series’ main storyline interesting.

Hannibal is set to be a midseason replacement on NBC. Screen Rant will keep you posted as to when it may air.

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Source: Moviehole

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  1. I feel like the 13 episode a season run is perfect for a drama. I think that an hour show is given plenty of time to get to the point. It’s a huge reason why I like what cable does. Yes, I have to wait 8-9 months for a new season but there are rarely ever throwaway episodes that I just don’t care about. I feel like network shows get bogged down in long seasons and I sometimes lose interest. I do plan to check this out because of how much I like the character of Hannibal Lector. Mockingbird Lane worries me though. I’m not convinced that will work out.

    • I agree with you on all points, Jess. I’ve even begun to appreciate the smaller 8-10 episode runs some series have done. I’d rather see two or three intelligent series than one series that has a half-season of forgettable episodes.

  2. Since Awake was put to sleep I put NBC to bed.
    This show does look intriguing but with NBC’s track
    record even with quality shows I won’t invest my time.

    I would if the show were on a cable channel where the
    likelihood of renewal would be high if the show is good.

    • NBC has had some intriguing shows that they never let fully develop. Awake and Journeyman are two that immediately come to mind. Other shows, like Chuck, were kept on a constant yo-yo, which filled the series with false stops and restarts because they were always under threat of cancellation. I’ve said before that I regarded Awake as a highly original, intelligent series that struggled because it was forced into being dumbed down to a procedural when it had so much more going for it.

      I’m not sure I’ll watch this, to be honest, until the season one set becomes available. Part of me thinks it will be more like “Hannibal: The Complete Series” but maybe not. I will give them credit as they seem to be attempting to overhaul their image yet again.

  3. Thomas Harris created some beautifully complex, richly tragic and deviant characters. I’d be curious to hear what the author has to say about this series (not what NBC wants him to say) if anything. From a personal standpoint, Will Graham has long been one of my favorite literary heroes and I can only hope he’s presented fairly. I like the actor cast in the role and look forward to seeing what he can do as he has yet to disappoint in any other character I’ve seen him take on. (Yes, even Confessions of a Shopaholic.)

    As for Fuller, he seems to thrive on taking someone else’s hard work and twisting it into something he can claim as his own. At least, when it comes to working with NBC. Granted, the series is called Hannibal so it makes some sort of sense that the producers wouldn’t want Graham to be the star of the show. Hopefully he will still be allowed to evolve and not end up catching Lecter out of mere bumbling coincidence.

    The gender swapping of Dr. Bloom and the tabloid reporter isn’t shocking, nor is it even original anymore. They at least picked a talented, mysteriously watchable actress in Catherine Dhavernas. But the way Freddy Lounds manipulated Graham was one of the better dynamics of Red Dragon and made the character’s demise equal parts gruesome and tragic. (How they’ll make that work now remains to be seen, assuming we see the events of Red Dragon retold.)

    I’m going to guess that this switch away from Graham’s struggling with the darkness and evil inside him–a trait that allowed him to think like the criminals he chases–to it now being “a condition” signifies that the series won’t be too bleak and is meant to give balance between Graham’s good and Lecter’s evil.

  4. My Lords, Its on NBC. It is certain to fail.

  5. I haven’t seen Manhunter or Red Dragon, but I’ve read the Red Dragon novel – this Graham sounds a lot closer to the one in the book. He was also conflicted on the inside, and what made the character interesting was the insinuation that he has all the makings of someone like Lecter – which is why he was said to be able to catch Lecter in the first place. If this is the direction they’re going with Graham then I’m on board.

  6. I’m slowly becoming more and more interested in this. Hopefully it will be worth watching. Mostly because other than a handful of comedies and sports I don’t watch anything on network tv. All the dramas I watch are on cable and pay-cable. So that leaves some pretty big gaps on my tv schedule.

  7. Love love live this show and everything about it!!!!!!!!

  8. cold-blooded and analytic. that’s the best part about this show. and hannibal doesn’t it rough meat :D