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9 things we learned about 'Hannibal' Season 3 at PaleyFest

Casting clarification

Tao Okamoto (“The Wolverine”) had been announced as playing Lady Murasaki, Hannibal's distant aunt who took him in as a teenager in the Thomas Harris novel "Hannibal Rising." But Fuller revealed that she will actually portray Murasaki’s handmaiden, Chio. “We are expanding that character and her history with Hannibal because there were a lot of things story-wise that didn't make sense for Lady Murasaki to do, and with Chio we had a greater rein.”

Even on the run, Hannibal is still Hannibal

Despite being a wanted man, Hannibal won’t be keeping a low profile in Europe, according to Mikkelsen. “Hannibal is on the run. But when he's running, he's not necessarily hiding, so it might be strangely flashy, what's going on, to a certain degree.”

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Bedelia's backstory will become clear

“It's almost like the first episode is a pilot for a show that's just about Bedelia and Hannibal's relationship,” whose past, present and future will be clarified, Fuller said. Anderson has been announced as a series regular, and much of the first half of the season will focus on her and Hannibal’s life in Europe following his Adele anthem-worthy breakup with Will, and his former life, after he was betrayed to the FBI.

The focus is still on Will

But that doesn’t mean he and Will won’t be close where it matters: “Just because they're separated, doesn't necessarily mean that what they're experiencing is not about each other,” Fuller said. Mikkelsen, apparently excited by the prospect, clarified: "And there is a very important area called a memory palace. We might meet each other there for a beer."Hannibal has alluded to his mind palace as the “Norman chapel in Palermo,” theCappella Palatina. Fuller recently tweeted a photo of its interior in connection with the third season.

hannibal lecter mads mikkelsen It's no more Mr. Nice Cannibal for Hannibal Lecter in Season 3 of "Hannibal."
Credit: NBC

There’s plenty of fall television to be excited about, but the crowd inside the Paley Center for Media on Saturday night only wanted one thing: the third season of NBC’s “Hannibal.”

Though the show won't return until next year, Fannibals got plenty of speculation fodder during a panel discussion with the principal cast and showrunner Bryan Fuller as part of PaleyFest.

Fuller has revealed previously that the show will pick up one year after the bloody confrontation with Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) at the end of Season 2. Hannibal and his former psychiatrist-turned-hostage-or-accomplice Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) are on the run in Europe, while his former FBI colleagues, including Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), try to move on with their lives.

Here’s what we learned during the panel about the upcoming third season.

Season 3 will be ‘radically different’


“I feel like we had such a blowout at the end of the second season that everybody has to be so changed by what they've experienced,” Fuller said. “We painted ourselves into a corner creatively, and the only way out of it is to start knocking down walls.” That means people who were in the FBI are no longer there and deviating from the murder-of-the-week format. In fact, the second half of the season will be devoted to a single case.

The series plan got shorter


Fuller began “Hannibal” with a seven-season plan, which has been condensed down to six when he realized that drawing out Hannibal’s time in Europe would stall the story. “And if we have 13 episodes, we have no business treading water. So I thought, let's wrap 'Red Dragon' into the third season and then actually do a 'Red Dragon' miniseries."

For a killer, Hannibal botched the attack in his house


Almost everyone who walked into Hannibal's house in the Season 2 finale will make it out alive. About the fight between Jack Crawford and Hannibal that opened Season 2, Fuller said, "I'm excited about the rematch in Season 3." Then a question for Caroline Dhavernas (Alana Bloom) led to the actress explaining the two possibilities facing her (presumably alive) character. “It can go both ways for her: She can just let go of all of it and do something else for a living, or just fight the biggest fight of her life.” Though Kacey Rohl will also return as Abigail, it’s unclear whether it will be via flashback like Eddie Izzard.


Casting clarification


Tao Okamoto (“The Wolverine”) had been announced as playing Lady Murasaki, Hannibal's distant aunt who took him in as a teenager in the Thomas Harris novel "Hannibal Rising." But Fuller revealed that she will actually portray Murasaki’s handmaiden, Chio. “We are expanding that character and her history with Hannibal because there were a lot of things story-wise that didn't make sense for Lady Murasaki to do, and with Chio we had a greater rein.”

Even on the run, Hannibal is still Hannibal


Despite being a wanted man, Hannibal won’t be keeping a low profile in Europe, according to Mikkelsen. “Hannibal is on the run. But when he's running, he's not necessarily hiding, so it might be strangely flashy, what's going on, to a certain degree.”

Bedelia's backstory will become clear


“It's almost like the first episode is a pilot for a show that's just about Bedelia and Hannibal's relationship,” whose past, present and future will be clarified, Fuller said. Anderson has been announced as a series regular, and much of the first half of the season will focus on her and Hannibal’s life in Europe following his Adele anthem-worthy breakup with Will, and his former life, after he was betrayed to the FBI.

The focus is still on Will


But that doesn’t mean he and Will won’t be close where it matters: “Just because they're separated, doesn't necessarily mean that what they're experiencing is not about each other,” Fuller said. Mikkelsen, apparently excited by the prospect, clarified: "And there is a very important area called a memory palace. We might meet each other there for a beer."Hannibal has alluded to his mind palace as the “Norman chapel in Palermo,” the Cappella Palatina. Fuller recently tweeted a photo of its interior in connection with the third season.

I'VE BEEN SPENDING A LOT OF TIME IN THIS PLACE #HANNIBAL SEASON 3 pic.twitter.com/gKckaX5rFj

— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) October 12, 2014



Will is a changed man


Dancy says Will finds “some balance now between his sanity with his insanity,” and we’re going to see “a slightly lighter, on the surface, Will Graham” (though he hardly could've gotten darker). In fact, he is apparently going to clean up so well that the series will return to find him settled down with his wife, Molly. “We absolutely are going to be seeing Molly and that relationship,” Fuller said.

Clarice Starling is no longer off the table


The character is held up in a copyright stalemate with MGM. "Every season, we ask them,” Fuller said. “The first season and the second season, they were like, ‘no,’ – an annoyed no. And then the third season they were like, ‘Well, not this year, but ask us again next year.’" Start putting together your casting shortlist.


Watch the full “Hannibal” panel from PaleyFest.

Will is a changed man

Dancy says Will finds “some balance now between his sanity with his insanity,” and we’re going to see “a slightly lighter, on the surface, Will Graham” (though he hardly could've gotten darker). In fact, he is apparently going to clean up so well that the series will return to find him settled down with his wife, Molly. “We absolutely are going to be seeing Molly and that relationship,” Fuller said.

Clarice Starling is no longer off the table

The character is held up in a copyright stalemate with MGM. "Every season, we ask them,” Fuller said. “The first season and the second season, they were like, ‘no,’ – an annoyed no. And then the third season they were like, ‘Well, not this year, but ask us again next year.’" Start putting together your casting shortlist.

Watch the full “Hannibal”panelfrom PaleyFest.

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