Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal came to an end in 2015, but talks about a fourth season haven’t stopped ever since. Back in 2013, Hannibal Lecter made the jump to the small screen in NBC’s Hannibal, with Mads Mikkelsen as the titular character and Hugh Dancy as Will Graham, a FBI profiler who forms a very special bond with Lecter himself, bringing out a side of him that could be as dangerous as the infamous cannibal.
The series was praised by critics for its visual style and the performance of the lead actors, and quickly built a very loyal fanbase. Sadly, that was not enough for the series to continue its course, and Hannibal was canceled after three seasons. The impact this series had can still be felt, as fans continue to retain hope that Dr. Lecter and Will Graham will come back somehow, and with both Fuller and the cast hinting at its possible return since the series ended, the question remains: will season 4 ever happen?
Hannibal came to an end because of low ratings, with executive producer Martha De Laurentiis claiming that illegal downloads had a lot to do with it, explaining that Hannibal was the fifth-most illegally downloaded series in 2013. Whatever the reason behind it, Hannibal made sure to leave fans wanting more, with an ending that can easily make way for another season. In an effort to save the series, Fuller talked to Amazon Video and Netflix about a possible renewal, but their exclusive deal with Amazon made the search for a new distributor very difficult. Amazon was up for housing Hannibal, but Fuller declined as they were not giving him enough time to work on the story and produce a new season. Fuller later revealed they were looking into making a film, and shared his plans to use the Silence of the Lambs storyline. This was all back in 2015, and updates on the future of Hannibal haven’t stopped.
In 2016, Fuller confirmed his plans for a Silence of the Lambs miniseries – not exactly a fourth season of Hannibal, but it would have the lead actors back. The following year, he shared that they could finally start looking at their options as they had to wait two years after the last episode aired, for legal reasons. He also explained he already has the story and that the cast was up for it, they just had to look at the ways to do it. In January 2019, Mads Mikkelsen said Fuller was still working on ideas and on acquiring the rights to Silence of the Lambs, and months later Fuller confirmed they’re still looking for a network, so there’s still hope for more Hannibal Lecter on the small screen.
Season 4 of Hannibal is still a possibility, and it seems like Fuller won’t stop fighting for it anytime soon, which is great news for fans. If it happens, it will most likely go down the Silence of the Lambs route and leave the events from the previous seasons behind, which would be the wisest decision given all the time that has passed since the last episode of the series aired.