‘Hannibal’: Bryan Fuller Teases a Pansexual Mads Mikkelsen for Possible Season 4

In a virtual reunion hosted by Nerdist with the cult series' cast and crew, creator Fuller shared his thoughts about where the show could go next.
Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy, "Hannibal"
Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy, "Hannibal"

Hannibal” Season 4 might be closer than you think. Fans of the cult NBC series were treated to a virtual reunion with the cast and crew on Saturday, courtesy of Nerdist, featuring everyone from series creator Bryan Fuller to stars Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Gillian Anderson, Caroline Dhavernas, and more, and during the discussion, the “Hannibal” gang shared their thoughts about where the show might head. While the question of whether Season 4 is actually in the cards remained unanswered, Fuller is playing around with plenty of delicious ideas as the wait for a new installment approaches its five-year mark, and the first three seasons are stirring renewed interest now that “Hannibal” is on Netflix.

One question that remains at the center of “Hannibal,” in a possible Season 4 as well as in the past three, is the nature of the fan-theorized sexual tension between Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). Fuller said that a new season would explore that dynamic even further, and while he said Will is definitely straight, he identifies Hannibal Lecter as a “pansexual” character.

“From our very first meeting with Mads, he redefined the character immediately for me because he’s the devil. He is this thing both of the world and outside of the world. So for me, the devil is pansexual,” Fuller said. “I think Will Graham is a heterosexual character, but sexuality is fluid, and I think it would have to be a conversation where we would sit down and try to find… the most authentic expression of their relationship now.”

Fuller said that one scene that will inform where the characters go is a telling moment in the penultimate episode of the final season, where Will asks Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson), “Is Hannibal in love with me?”

“Up until the point where I wrote [that scene], I was aware of the fan community wanting a sexualization between the characters and I was entertained by that greatly, and got a kick out of it certainly,” Fuller said. “But I was also trying to be true to Thomas Harris” — the author behind the source material — “and these characters, and Mads’ declaration of Hannibal as the devil. It’s something I am definitely interested in and it feels like we were on a trajectory. We just have to find the most authentic path for that trajectory.”

Perhaps most blatantly in regards to where Season 4 could head, Fuller added, “Because of the nature of what would be happening in season 4 in terms of the grander manipulations that Hannibal has on Will Graham’s mind, I don’t think Hannibal would want to have sex with Will if Will wasn’t in his right mind, and Will won’t be in his right mind in Season 4.”

Finally, Fuller said he is “very hopeful” about a fourth season. “The great thing about the ideas that I have shared with members of the cast in terms of where we’re going is that if it takes five years, if everyone is interested in coming back, that’s just how long they’ve been on the lam, and the story will pick up from there and we’ll adapt.” He also said he imagines a fourth season as “sunny and sweaty as compared to the cold harsh realities of Toronto.”

Watch the full panel below.

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