The hashtag #SaveHannibal is trending on social media once again in light of recent news about The Silence of the Lambs getting a new sequel series. Called Clarice, the upcoming series will focus specifically on Jodie Foster's character from the 1991 movie, taking place about one year after her ordeal with Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). For big fans of Hannibal, the announcement serves as a harsh reminder that the prequel series was ended far too soon, bringing about another fan campaign to finally get some new episodes of the beloved show.
Created by Bryan Fuller, Hannibal aired on NBC between 2013 and 2015 before it was axed after just three seasons. Based on the original Hannibal novels from Thomas Harris, the series focused on the relationship between FBI agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and cannibalistic murderer Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). Following the show's cancellation, Fuller had revealed his plans to bring Clarice Starling into the story, seeing Ellen Page as his ideal casting for the part. This has Hannibal fans feeling the sting of knowing we'll likely never see Fuller's plans to use the character come to fruition, but Fuller is now making it clear that it wasn't going to happen anyway.
"[Exec producer] Martha [De Laurentiis] & I tried many times to work with MGM to include Clarice into our Hannibal story. They ultimately told us they had their own plans for Clarice and they didn't need Hannibal to tell her story," Fuller says in a recent tweet, suggesting the studio's plans to develop Clarice date back many years. Fuller also stresses that because using the character was never on the table for the Hannibal team to begin with, Clarice getting a series order doesn't affect a potential Hannibal revival in any major way. "Don't think this impacts a potential #HANNIBAL S4 as we never had Clarice rights," he adds.
Fans of the show aren't the only ones who want to see Hannibal come back with a series revival. Fuller and star Mads Mikkelsen have both said on many occasions they'd love to continue the story they had started, so as long as they can find the right home for the show. "The cast is game, I'm game, it's just a matter of finding the right time where everybody's schedules sync up," Fuller said in 2016, while Mikkelsen claimed just last year that there's "always new hope" for a new season happening one day.
Given the continued popularity of the acclaimed series, it's rather strange the potential Hannibal revival is still just spinning its wheels with no progress made after several years. With no many different options for networks and streaming services on the table, you'd think one of them would have bitten on it by now. In any case, seeing a Hannibal season 4 remains a possibility, and the potential success of Clarice can in fact actually help Hannibal find a new life elsewhere by proving there's plenty of fan interest in the franchise. Fuller's response to the Clarice backlash quoted above comes to us from Twitter.
Martha & I tried many times to work with MGM to include Clarice into our Hannibal story. They ultimately told us they had their own plans for Clarice and they didn't need Hannibal to tell her story. Don’t think this impacts a potential #HANNIBAL S4 as we never had Clarice rights.— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) January 12, 2020