The internet has recently resurfaced rumours of a fourth season of Bryan Fuller’s Lynchian slow-burn psychological horror-thriller Hannibal. The acclaimed series (based on characters and elements from Thomas Harris’ novels Red Dragon (1981) and Hannibal (1999)) was sadly cancelled by NBC in the spring of 2015. Fans are still hoping for a Hannibal renewal or season 4 release on a streaming service, such as Netflix (which has been “incredibly complementary to the show”).
After six years of waiting, actor Mads Mikkelsen, who plays the beloved cannibalistic psychopath and serial killer, remains optimistic about a series revival.
“The work itself was brutal because we had long hours and late scripts.” It’s television, and what we were doing was extravagant. The texts were written for people with high IQs. The monologues and dialogues were always about fine art and music. You’d have to learn Japanese, Hungarian, and other words you’d never heard before. And because everything arrived so late, you had only two hours to complete it. Having said that, I’d love to return. “Everyone wants to go back, and if there’s only one season, which we’re certain of, he can finish it properly, surprising, and stunningly,” Mikkelson revealed in an interview.
Fans will recall that the show ended on a shocking cliffhanger, with Hugh Dancy’s Will and Hannibal embracing as they fall off a cliff — after defeating the show’s antagonist, Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage). And, while it ended on a high note, many viewers found the “ending” to be unsatisfactory, as it left viewers guessing about the fate of the two beloved main characters. Did they pass away? Are they still alive?
Then there’s Gillian Anderson’s Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, Hannibal Lecter’s psychiatrist and colleague, who is about to eat her own leg in the post-credits scene at the end of Season 3’s final episode. Was it the usual mix of illusions, symbolism, and dream sequences that we’ve come to expect from the franchise? Or did the infamous villain make it through the ordeal? Is she having dinner with Special Investigator Will Graham and Dr. Lecter at the end of Hannibal’s third season?
Leaving it open-ended appears to have benefited the creators, as it allows them to continue the popular show’s story with new episodes in a possible season 4 of Hannibal.
In addition, the television series has grown in popularity in recent years, similar to many other shows that have found their way onto Netflix. On the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Mads discussed the possibility of a fourth season of Hannibal, saying that because the show “has found a new home on Netflix… the talks have been revitalized” about a new order of episodes.