The Hannibal Pannibal took place on Saturday, with showrunner Bryan Fuller, Executive Producer Martha De Laurentiis, and stars Hugh Dancy and Richard Armitage.
San Diego Comic-Con took place this past weekend, featuring the third annual Hannibal panel (aka “Pannibal“). In attendance were series creator Bryan Fuller, Executive Producer and Chairman of De Laurentiis Company Martha De Laurentiis, and actors Hugh Dancy (Will Graham) and Richard Armitage (Francis Dolarhyde). Many Fannibals had hoped for an announcement regarding a new home for the show; unfortunately, that did not occur. However, Martha De Laurentiis said at the Pannibal, “It’s not over.” Furthermore, Fuller stated that he still wants to continue Hannibal, while Dancy echoed Fuller’s statement, saying that he is committed to the show, should it get picked up. In a press interview that took place right after the Pannibal, Fuller was asked about his obligation to American Gods and how would he balance the two should Hannibal get picked up and he responded that he would find a way.
When the Pannibal moderator mentioned the cancellation of Hannibal, many in the crowd booed. Fuller, ever the gentleman, pointed out that NBC allowed them “to do some crazy s— for three years,” and applauded the network for that. At the press interview, Fuller said that he had known Season 3 might be the final season because of the ratings. Jennifer Salke, the President of Entertainment at NBC, had told him as long as ratings didn’t go below .5, she could keep the show on the air. Unfortunately, those numbers did dip to .4 and she was unable to protect Hannibal from the schedulers at NBC.
Fuller also explained a bit about the complications that they face now that NBC has decided not to renew Hannibal. He stated that since they lost NBC, they also have lost much of their international funding because companies like AXN need a U.S. broadcaster in order for them to have a platform to sell it in their country. During the Pannibal, and in a number of interviews, such as this one with MTV, Fuller mentioned that one possible option would be making a feature film, instead of another season. Regardless of the route taken, however, Fuller really wants to bring Hannibal back to the Fannibals, even if there has to be a break in between.
The Pannibal wasn’t all solemn. Early on, Dancy peered out into the crowd and said, “There must be no more flower crowns left in the world.” About that time, Fuller collected flower crowns for each panelist to wear. This lead Armitage to ask why they were wearing flowers, to which Dancy responded with, “I actually don’t know.” Fuller then explained that the flower crowns “represent the passion and floral beauty of the fandom and our appreciation for their support.”
Later, a Fannibal asked in what way would they like to die, if they had to choose one of the deaths from the show. Fuller said he would like to be the cello man; Dancy said he’d choose tree man; and Armitage said he’d choose to die sliced up like Beverly Katz. (One of my favorite questions was regarding one of the funniest lines of the series, “Spitters are quitters,” and whether Fuller had any push-back from NBC with that line, to which Fuller said no.)
The Pannibal also featured a preview of the second half of Season 3, looking at the Red Dragon arc. The preview is breathtaking, to be honest. You can watch it for yourself here. To the delight of many Fannibals, Fuller pointed out that on the DVD/Blu-ray, they will not blur out Armitage’s buttocks. After Armitage said that he spent about half the series naked, the audience cheered, to which Fuller replied, “You’re welcome.”
Fuller also answered one Fannibal’s question regarding the Red Dragon’s murders, which in the books contained a sexual component to them. He said that he wanted to keep his promise to not tell rape stories on the show, so instead the focus is more about “the assault on the family unit” rather than the sexual assault on the women in the families.
When the panelists were asked what they would miss most, should this actually be the end of Hannibal, Fuller’s response was the Fannibals and a “close second” would be the cast. Dancy seconded what Fuller said, saying, “…To be part of something that feels like it was so embraced and engaged with, with such openheartedness, love, and enthusiasm,” was amazing. Likewise, Armitage said he felt like he was welcomed into a family (and Dancy joked, “Which you then killed.”), not just with the cast, but also with the Fannibals.
If you missed out on all the fun this weekend, aside from watching the Pannibal linked above, you can also check out the many tweets and pictures on Twitter by searching the hashtags #Pannibal2015, #EatTheCon, and #BecomingSoon. Hopefully, someone will save Hannibal so that this is not our final Pannibal.