Bryan Fuller Explains His Take on 'Cheery' Hannibal Lecter

Hannibal, NBC's upcoming police procedural featuring young serial killer Hannibal Lecter, might seem like a bit of a departure for Bryan Fuller, a writer/producer best known for the quirky, and woefully short-lived, comedy-dramas Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls and Dead Like Me. But it's clear the new series, which explores the relationship between brilliant young psychiatrist Lecter and FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) as they solve crimes together, will still have that Fuller flair.

“It’s before he was incarcerated, so he’s more of a peacock,” he told EW.com. “There is a cheery disposition to our Hannibal. He’s not being telegraphed as a villain. If the audience didn’t know who he was, they wouldn’t see him coming. What we have is Alfred Hitchcock’s principle of suspense — show the audience the bomb under the table and let them sweat when it’s going to go boom. So the audience knows who Hannibal is so we don’t have to overplay his villainy. We get to subvert his legacy and give the audience twists and turns.”

He revealed he's taken five pages of backstory from Thomas Harris’ 1981 novel Red Dragon as the basis for the first two seasons of Hannibal. NBC has already committed to a 13-episode first-season order, which the producer likened to the cable model.

Fuller, who's also developing a Munsters update for NBC called Mockingbird Lane, also touched upon his desire to team with Bryan Singer on a television reboot of Star Trek, which he concedes seems unlikely to get anywhere while J.J. Abrams has command of the big-screen Enterprise.

“Bryan and I are big fans of Trek and have discussed a take on what we would do, and we would love to do it,” he said. “I don’t think anything is going to happen in any official capacity until after the next movie comes out. And I’m sure it would be wisely under J.J. Abrams’ purview of what happens. He’s the guardian of Trek right now.”

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