Abigail Raney writes from San Diego Comic Con,
Hannibal creator and executive producer Bryan Fuller has revealed the show's third season will feature episode names taken from the Italian culinary vernacular. And yes, he says, that is a clue to where the fugitive Hannibal is headed. He also confirms a rumor that's been circulating about the show starting season three a year after the end of season two. The time jump will allow the show to pick up at the "most dramatic point" in the story, and also happens to make it easier to be vague about just exactly who survived the season two finale. But it won't be vague forever – episode four of the third season will fill in a lot of the gaps between the end of season two and the beginning of season three. We'll get the whole story, Fuller promises, but it will be told "emotionally as opposed to temporally".
Going into season three, the first half will focus on the hunt for Hannibal, and be lighter on the FBI-focused, procedural side of things. Will and Hannibal will also not be sharing the screen as much as in previous seasons. Fuller notes the compelling connection between the two – he believes they have "a genuine love for each other" – but wants the characters to be interesting enough to carry separate story lines. As for the other characters' fates, some still remain a mystery, but Raul Esparza's Dr. Chilton is definitely returning, and we'll see Eddie Izzard as Dr. Gideon in flashbacks. Several new characters are on the slate as well, including Rinaldo Pazzi in episode two, Lady Murasaki in episode three, Dr. Cordell Doemling in episode four, and Francis Dolarhyde in episode eight.
Looking even further into the future, Fuller and executive producer Martha DeLaurentiis were hopeful about the possible appearance of Clarice Starling and Barney Matthews, but explained the rights to those characters are currently held by MGM, as they appeared in The Silence of the Lambs. If an agreement with MGM were to happen, the show could expand into that territory. Fuller expressed a strong desire for that to happen, saying he wants "to finish the story." And on a slightly more whimsical note, in response to a fan query about musical versions of Hannibal and Pushing Daisies, Fuller offered the possibility of a "musical number" in "Hannibal's mind palace" – to which Esparza responded by vouching for Mads Mikkelsen's dancing abilities. And in case anyone out there wants to help shape a tiny piece of the Hannibal world, Fuller also mentioned that he's looking to Twitter for suggestions in naming the rest of Will's dogs. Get to work on that, internet.