5:19pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Comic-Con: 'Hannibal' May Live On as a Feature, Bryan Fuller Says
NBC's Hannibal made what presumably could be its last Comic-Con appearance on Saturday with a somewhat bittersweet panel in which diehard fans showed their appreciation for Bryan Fuller's now-canceled drama.
The series was shockingly axed in June after only three episodes of its 13-episode third season had aired. Showrunner Fuller — who has Starz's newly ordered drama series American Gods in first position — has been vocal about his attempts to find a new home for the Silence of the Lambs prequel series. Likely home Amazon, the latter of which has streaming rights for Hannibal's first two seasons, passed on picking up a fourth season. Given Amazon's deal with the series, finding a streaming service to continue the series would prove challenging — and Netflix has already passed.
Fuller and producer Martha De Laurentiis updated fans on the latest attempts to save the series. At this point, a new suitor would also have to ink new deals with its cast — including Hugh Dancy (Will) and Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) after Gaumont released the stars. Should the stars align — Dancy and Mikkelsen have both expressed interest in returning — production on Hannibal's fourth season would have to come after Fuller completed his duties on American Gods.
"NBC allowed us to do some crazy shit for three years," Fuller said after the packed Ballroom 20 booed NBC's decision to cancel the series before providing an update on his attempt to find a new home for Hannibal.
"We are still looking; we don't have a lot of answers and we're looking at the possibility of a feature," Fuller said. "So we have Hugh and Mads, who are very committed to the show and would love to continue with the show. The way this season ends, we have the opportunity for a break and hopefully we'll be able to find a way to bring Mads and Hugh back to you."
Fuller confirmed that Netflix couldn't take on Hannibal for a fourth season because of the Amazon streaming deal, while Amazon "would like to have done it."
"[They] wanted to do it very quickly and I wanted to be able to get all the scripts in advance before we started shooting a fourth season and their desire to put it out immediately was impossible for us to do," Fuller said.
Dancy, meanwhile, called the show's cancellation "bittersweet" but stressed that the show wasn't over and he remained committed to it — and its future.
"We all feel very bittersweet," he said. "It's an emotional thing for all of us and it's not over in the sense that we're fully committed and have been living this for a few years — and that's still very true in this moment."
The passionate audience also distributed "Fannibals Forever" signs with horns and raised them high for Fuller to see at the top of the session, which included boos for Netflix's decision to pass.
"It would be the Fannibals," Fuller said when asked what he'd miss the most if the show was unable to go on. "The connection we've had with this very special fan community that has been so overwhelmingly supportive. We're all going to take Fannibals with us where ever we go."
As for what's to come, Dancy noted that there will be a three-year time jump between this past week's episode and the show's next installment on Thursday — which will see Will married. (Though that won't last long.) Check out a clip of the Red Dragon storyline, below.
Hannibal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on NBC. To sign up for Live Feed TV alerts for news and scoop on your favorite shows, please go to THR.com/FeedNews.