Why ‘Hannibal’ fans want less Clarice and more Hannigram
In a move that literally nobody expected or planned or even really wanted to happen, CBS took the initiative to develop the Hannibal Lecter expanded universe.
The network reported it ordered the pilot Clarice, detailing the life of FBI agent Clarice Starling from Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs, at the Television Critics Association press tour.
The series will be helmed by Star Trek producer Alex Kurtzman, co-writing alongside CBS Star Trek: Discovery co-showrunner Jenny Lumet.
Clarice is a co-production between CBS and MGM (which owns the rights to The Silence of the Lambs films), and things are moving fast. While there is no word on who is slated to play the iconic role, a writers’ room has already been formed and a script has already been written, with the network aiming for a completed pilot before officially picking up the program for a series order during its 2020-21 season.
In a statement, Kurtzman and Lumet said that “after more than 20 years of silence, we’re privileged to give voice to one of America’s most enduring heroes—Clarice Starling. Clarice’s bravery and complexity have always lit the way, even as her personal story remained in the dark. But hers is the very story we need today: her struggle, her resilience, her victory. Her time is now, and always.”
Clarice follows the timeline of Silence of the Lambs. The show is set in 1993, one year after the events of the film, and The Hollywood Reporter described it as “the untold personal story” of Starling as she tracks sexual predators and murderers throughout Washington, D.C.
As for the cannibal in the room, Deadline reported Hannibal Lecter would not be a part of the series.
Hannibal fans are not staying silent about the Silence reboot
While the premise of a woman forced to endure psychological abuse from serial killers and sexual harassment from her superiors sounds like a fun, light-hearted program, fans of NBC’s Hannibal are not so easily excited.
Fans of the show took to Twitter under the #SaveHannibal hashtag to share memes, quotes from the show, and their wish for a fourth season to the NBC drama, almost five years after the show was canceled.
Twitter user @hannigram_trash commented on the LGBTQ themes of the show, noting “Hannibal was the queerest show I’ve ever watched and it has hetbaiting… The two hetero “”ships”” become gay ships and they’re canon :”) #SaveHannibal.”
Twitter user @wendigograham also mentioned the production values of the program. “Name one show ever that’s confronted true understanding,love and belonging between two men while still being one of the best written, shot and produced shows on tv as well as hannibal had #SaveHannibal,” @wendigograham wrote.
Hannibal followed the book like Hannibal Lecter followed society’s laws, and although it was a wild deviation from the book, it nonetheless appealed to both fans and critics alike.
The high production values, as well as the exploration of LGBTQ identity, trauma, and mental health, were refreshing to watch, but it is the deranged love story between FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and cannibal Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) that gave the show such a cult following.
Fans have been creating art, memes, and petitions to get the show a much-deserved fourth season, but the Clarice news seems to have put an ice pick in the show’s heart.
What was Hannibal is now Cancelibal
In May of 2019, series creator and producer Bryan Fuller stressed that nobody had given up about a potential fourth season. “I’ve made it clear I want to do it, the cast wants to do it and [executive producer Martha De Laurentiis] wants to do it,” Fuller tweeted. “We just need a network or a streaming service that wants to do it, too. I don’t feel there’s a clock on it or an expiration date for the idea. We just need someone to bite.”
Fuller even mentioned his desire to include material from The Silence of the Lambs and Clarice Starling in a potential fourth season but confirmed on Twitter in January that MGM never gave them the rights.
“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,” Fuller tweeted.
For now, it appears the focus will stay on Clarice Starling, but as for the future, it’s impossible to know. It’s hard to keep a cannibal down.