Hannibal Season 4 Updates: Story, Release Date, Will It Happen?

The show has a ravenous fanbase but will Hannibal season 4 ever happen? Hannibal Lecter was first introduced in author Thomas Harris' 1981 novel Red Dragon. Lecter is a cultured psychiatrist and renowned intellect - who also happens to a sociopathic cannibal murderer. The character's first live-action appearance was in Michael Mann's (Heat) 1986 thriller Manhunter, where he was played by Brian Cox. Despite being considered a cult classic now, Manhunter bombed upon release.

Faring much better was the adaptation of Harris' sequel novel The Silence Of The Lambs, starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal. The film was a taut psychological thriller with fantastic performances and became one of the rare horror movies to sweep the Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress. Hopkins returned for 2001's Hannibal and a new adaptation of Red Dragon in 2002. Gaspard Ulliel later played young Hannibal in critically lambasted prequel Hannibal Rising.

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The character returned once again for the Hannibal TV series, which debuted in 2013. The show starred Mads Mikkelsen and lasted three seasons, with NBC canceling the series in 2015 due to low ratings. That said, the show attracted strong reviews and a loyal fanbase. The cast and crew have spoken of returning to the material someday, so will a Hannibal season 4 ever actually happen?

Hannibal Season 4 Is Still Looking For A New Home

Hannibal Will And Hannibal Embrace

In his last update about a possible Hannibal season 4, Mads Mikkelsen (Polar) stated creator Bryan Fuller was still trying to find a new home for the series. Fuller has spoken in the past of reviving the show once every few years as self-contained miniseries, which is also a possibility Mikkelsen and co-star Hugh Dancy have mentioned. While nothing has been confirmed, it appears everyone involved is eager to revisit Hannibal and Will Graham.

Hannibal Season 4 Release Date

Wendigo in Hannibal

Since Hannibal season 4 - if that's what it ends up being called - hasn't found a new outlet yet, a release date has yet to be confirmed. Considering the amount of time that typically passed between novels, including an eleven-year gap between The Silence Of The Lambs and Hannibal, fans are used to long waits for new Hannibal adventures. Given the popularity of revivals like Twin Peaks and The X-Files, Hannibal stands a very good chance of finding a new home, be it Netflix or another platform.

Related: Twin Peaks: Did The Return Work?

What Will Hannibal Season 4 Be About?

Mads Mikkelsen in Hannibal NBC

Bryan Fuller originally planned for the show to run for seven seasons, with season 4 to 6 adapting the Hannibal Lecter novels, and season 7 being an original storyline to conclude the series. The show ultimately cherrypicked plot beats and characters from the books, and Fuller was never able to secure the rights to use The Silence Of The Lambs. It's possible that could change in a future revival, with Fuller mentioning Ellen Page (The Umbrella Academy)aas his perfect choice for Clarice Starling.

That said, Fuller has also said he has a much different idea in mind for Hannibal season 4, which would re-examine the relationship between Will Graham and Hannibal in a new light. It's said this idea would be a total reinvention of the series, but Fuller has never revealed what this concept is.

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