Though Hannibal, the TV show about fiction's most iconic cannibal, ended its run in August of 2015, showrunner Bryan Fuller has kept fans' hopes alive for a reboot of the series. Back in October, 2016, Fuller commented that he could officially start planning Season 4 of his critically acclaimed series in August, 2017.
That raised a lot of questions, though. Would Fuller still produce the series? And will leads Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen (who both have very busy careers) be available to bring Fuller's vision to life? Fans are naturally hoping to see Will (Dancy) and Hannibal (Mikkelsen) return to their roles sooner rather than later, but Dancy told TV Guide that the next installment that Fuller has pitched to him could go into production years from now, and still work.
"Frankly, given the story he described, and the way we ended Season 3, it could happen in five years time," Dancy told a small group of reporters at the Television Critics Association winter previews while promoting his Hulu show, The Path. "That wouldn't be problematic in terms of storyline, so I have my fingers crossed."
Dancy has no clear answers about when his, or his costar's, schedules might align to make the new season happen. Not to mention, Fuller is extremely busy executive producing American Gods for Starz, and starting work on Amazing Stories for NBC. The prolific creator recently had to step down as showrunner for CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery because his schedule was too cramped. Still, Dancy is optimistic Hannibal isn't dead meat, since the cast — and Fuller — are still passionate about the series.
"I love Bryan. I love the storyline that he outlined for me, if there had been a Season 4 — whether it be on television or some other format, I don't know," Dancy said. "I think if Mads, Bryan and myself could all be available — I can't fully speak for Mads — but it could happen."
Unfortunately, schedules aren't the only complication for some Hannibal closure. Once Fuller is clear to write the show, he'll also have to examine what Hannibal stories are legally available to delve into. Dancy has his own hopes of where Will and Hannibal might end up on that front, too.
"Part of this comes downs to who owns the rights to which book," Dancy said, referring to Thomas Harris' books, which inspired both the TV and movie series. "I think there are specific elements of 'Silence of the Lambs' that could be explored between Will and Hannibal, very interestingly."
Whatever the cast (and Fuller) can work out, they better hurry it up: fans are hungry for more.
The Path returns to Hulu for a second season on January 25.