Ever since Hannibal season 3 ended on a literal cliffhanger, there have been widespread talks of a possible fourth season in the works. NBC pulled the plug on the show but over the last six years, the fanbase for the show has only been growing. So, will we ever see Hannibal season 4, that is the question in minds of thousands of fans.
From cryptic tweets by Bryan Fuller to Mads Mikkelsen getting on podcasts and talking about Hannibal season 4, all of us fans have been on a roller coaster ride for over a half-decade. While the cast and fans of the show would love to see Hannibal back, the show is yet to find a home.
In 2015 when NBC canceled Hannibal after the third season, Bryan Fuller came out and said NBC was only a broadcaster, they did not produce the show which meant Bryan was free to shop the series anywhere he wanted. Here we go through the timeline of Hannibal season 4 over the past six years and where we are now.
Hannibal Season 4 Timeline 2015 to 2019
Hannibal season 4 is in some stage of development for years now. Netflix may revive the show or that is what Mads Mikkelsen believes.
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As soon as it was reported that NBC was not picking up Hannibal for a fourth season, Bryan Fuller came out and made his feelings known. He said, "NBC canceled the show on NBC. But that does not preclude us from being able to take the show elsewhere."
Bryan mentioned there were options for the show moving into the future. At the time Amazon Prime Video was holding the deal to showcase the series on their platform. Around 2015 Prime Video was gearing up for a battle with Netflix and there was genuine hope that Amazon might pick up Hannibal season 4.
Due to Amazon holding the rights for Hannibal, Bryan was not allowed to shop the show to the bosses at Netflix. He had a plan for Hannibal season 4 but streaming limbo and inaction from Prime Video resulted in the progress being halted for a few years.
In 2016 Bryan Fuller again perked up the ears of fans by saying he had pitched the idea of Hannibal season 4 to lead actors, Mads Mikkelsen, and Hugh Dancy. The creator of the show stated that both the actors were open to the idea and season 4 was closer to getting made.
He told Collider, "The cast is game, I’m game. It’s just a matter of finding the right time where everybody’s schedules sync up, but I would love to continue to tell the story with Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen. They’re such fantastic collaborators, and one of the most satisfying actor-showrunner relationships I’ve ever had in this industry. So I would love to continue this story."
Bryan also set 2017 as the real point when things can start falling into place. The writer/director was waiting for the rights of The Silence of the Lambs, held by MGM and Orion Pictures. They made the hit movie which engraved Hannibal Lecter into the brains of millions of fans and the rights were going to be available in 2017.
The idea was to include Clarice Starling in the story of Hannibal. Bryan felt there was soo much story to be told about the relationship between Clarice and Hannibal but the MGM was not interested in allowing the character to go. But Bryan took it in stride, he just thought it would've been interesting to include Clarice.
Bryan was fine working with Will and Hannibal, "There’s an interesting next chapter in the relationship between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter that would be fascinating to unpack. I’ve shared it with the gentlemen and they’re both keen on it."
There was also a picture of Bryan Fuller and Martha DeLaurentiis which surfaced on the internet alongside an action figure of Hannibal. This picture was enough to convince fans Hannibal season 4 was beginning production soon, but that was not the case.
For a whole year, there was little to no information regarding Hannibal season 4 in 2018. In an encouraging message to the fans of the show, Bryan wrote in 2019 that he was still interested in the story, as well as Martha and the cast. They just needed a home, either a network or streaming platform "to bite."
From 2020 to Now - Fate of Hannibal Season 4
The creator of the fan-favorite show has spoken multiple times regarding the fate of the show. We have heard about his Inception meets Angel Heart pitch, his spooky pitch to the actors of the show. And after years of disappointment fans were ready to let go.
But then came Netflix in 2020 when they got the rights to show the first three seasons of Hannibal. Mads and Bryan both spoke during the summer of 2020 saying the show's arrival on Netflix is a good sign for Hannibal season 4. Netflix has revived shows in the past and Hannibal already has a built-in fanbase so it was a no-brainer at the time.
Still, in 2021 we are no closer to seeing Hannibal season 4. But Mads Mikkelsen is still optimistic about a possible fourth season. Mads revived the continuation talk on 28 January 2021 when he appeared on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.
The actor said, Hannibal, "has found a new home on Netflix. I don't think you'd find a member of the cast that is still alive that would say, 'No, thanks.' We all enjoyed it tremendously." Mads, for one, is not giving up hope on Hannibal season 4.
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