NBC’s Hannibal was a discussion topic on the SR Underground Podcast earlier this month, in part because of how the TV series’ creator Bryan Fuller – the former Heroes co-showrunner and Pushing Daisies creator – is handling the limitations inherent to a Hannibal Lecter prequel series which covers some of the same ground as Red Dragon and Manhunter.
Judging by a newly-released trailer, Hannibal offers some disturbing and grotesque visuals courtesy of director David Slade (30 Days of Night, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse), in addition to captivating psychological drama that offers an alternate (re: not strictly canonical) take on Thomas Harris’ stories about serial killer profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), Agent Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), Dr. Alana “Al” Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) and, of course, a brilliant psychiatrist by the name of Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen)
If Fuller gets his way, then Hannibal will carry on for many seasons (each thirteen episodes rather than the public TV standard twenty-two), with an overarching story pre-planned to cover seven seasons in total. The intention is to use viewers’ knowledge about Lecter’s true nature to generate a sort of Hitchcockian suspense that will keep them hooked, in addition with the promise that “we get to subvert his legacy” along the way.
Both Hannibal and this month’s Bates Motel are taking similar approaches, when it comes to revisiting iconic cinematic psychopaths and exploring their history in a way that (hopefully) avoids making them any less darkly fascinating and complex in the process. However, there are two obstacles standing in the way of Fuller’s show becoming a success: 1) NBC’s tendency to cancel series before they hit their groove and 2) The popularity of The Following is taking away from the demand for engaging serial killer TV show entertainment.
Hannibal premieres on Thursday evening, April 4th, 2013 on NBC at 10/9c. Will YOU be checking it out?