Can you smell it? Blood is in the air again.

The psychological cat and mouse games between Hannibal Lecter (played by Mads Mikkelsen) and Will Graham (played by Hugh Dancy) continue as NBC’s dark and haunting series “Hannibal” will be making its way back to the small screen through the 3rd season. After the brutal ending in the finale of Season 2, Hannibal is off to a new location as he is on the run in Europe.

He is accompanied by his psychiatrist, Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (played by Gillian Anderson), who is sporting a new identity while servicing the same insatiable appetite.

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Hannibal - Season 3

To say that we are excited about the fact that “Hannibal” has returned with the 3rd season is a massive understatement. With the fates of the characters hung in balance, there’s plenty of stories to be fleshed out in the new season and our curiousities are reaching the peak. Hannibal has fully exposed himself and it’ll be interesting to see how the story will go from there.

With that in mind, here are a few delicious tidbits that you should know about “Hannibal” Season 3:

1. Creator’s dream casting includes David Bowie and Lee Pace

David Bowie and Lee Pace

Before “Hannibal” made its debut on NBC, creator Bryan Fuller has considered casting Lee Pace for the part of Will Graham. He also wanted Pace, who starred in Fuller’s “Pushing Daises”, to portray a guest-starring role in Season 1. However, Pace had to turn down his offer due to his commitments with a Broadway play.

For the 3rd season of the show, Fuller successfully added a number of Hollywood A-listers, including Richard Armitage and Zachary Quinto, to star as the new characters. During an interview with Collider, he opened up about his dream cast and said that he had tried to cast the legendary singer David Bowie too.

He said:

We were told by his people, when we got the pick-up for the third season, to make sure to ask again about his availability. So, once we have our dates, we are going to ask again. I think the man walks on water, so I would love to be in his orbit, in some way… He’s very aware (of the offer). But he’s also very, very busy. He’s got lots of exciting things coming out, musically. That was the block to the second season. He’s incredibly busy.

Fuller also added that there’s a list of people that he would like to join the series. “I’m a huge fan of David Thewlis. I would love him to come and play with us. And Brad Dourif. So, there is no shortage of people on that list that I’m desperate to get on the show,” he said. “I would love to get Kristin Chenoweth on this show. I would love to get Lee Pace. I would love to get Anna Friel. Those are all people that we’ve gone down roads with, to try to secure them in the past, but scheduling hasn’t worked out. But, I’m never going to stop trying.”

2. Fuller is still trying to acquire the rights to Clarice Starling from “Silence of the Lamb”

Image source: Fashion and Style
Image source: Fashion & Style

Fuller and executive producer Martha De Laurentis once stated during a Comic-Con presentation that they will attempt to introduce a famed character portrayed by Jodie Foster in 1996’s “The Silence of the Lambs”, Clarice Starling, to the series. However, they failed to acquire the rights to the “Silence of the Lambs” storyline and characters from MGM.

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In an interview with Digital Spy in 2014, Fuller said:

Well, we tried to get Benjamin Raspail and Jame Gumb in the first season, so that we could tell that story and set up “Silence of the Lambs”. We tried to work out all manner of deals with MGM, like, “We’ll give you access to use the Hannibal Lecter character in your “Silence of the Lambs” spinoff show that you’re developing, if you give us, or let us rent, Gumb and Raspail. And their response was, “Under no circumstances, what’s ours is ours and what’s yours is yours.'”

Fuller went on to say that he’ll keep trying so that the people at MGM will either change their mind or be willing to work out a different deal:

Clarice is such a special character and a very iconic one, both from the literature and especially, in terms of pop culture, from Jodie Foster’s fantastic performance. So it would be great to fold her into the “Hannibal” omelette, but time will tell.

Fuller told SpoilerTV‘s Veronica K. that he has touched upon the character of Clarice. He further revealed that he “hoped for a different portrayal and considered what it would mean if she were portrayed as non-white” because “it would give us her ‘view of the world’ in relation to race, which opens up new possibilities in terms of storytelling.”

3. The titles of the episodes on Season 3 are named after Italian culinary terms

entwine, May 2011
Image soruce: Food Network

Every episode in the series is named after culinary terms. For this 3rd season, Fuller named the episodes after Italian culinary terms. The 1st episode is called “Antipasto”, which means “before the meal”. It is a light first dish in a proper formal Italian meal.

The 2nd episode is titled “Primavera”, which is a cooking style that translates to “spring style”.

4. Season 3 opener takes places over 4 different periods of time

According to Fuller, the 3rd season will feature some time jumps that will help establish the “Red Dragon” storyline.

He said:

Fuller also noted in an interview with TV Guide that they’re “significantly changing the Hannibal origin story from Hannibal Rising”.

He said:

Season 3 is going to be a lot of fun because it’s going to be taking a lot of disparate elements from the novel “Hannibal Rising” and the novel “Hannibal” and mashing them up together as part of the thrust of the season. We’re significantly changing the Hannibal origin story from “Hannibal Rising”.

5. Fuller has hired directors like Neil Marshall (of “Game of Thrones” fame) and Vincenzo Natali (0f “Splice” fame) to helm some of the episodes

Fuller took to Twitter to reveal that “Game of Thrones” director Neil Marshall has signed on to helm the 8th episode, titled “The Great Red Dragon”.

This particular episode is said to skip a few years in the lives of the main characters to introduce Francis Dollarhyde (played by Richard Armitage), the main antagonist of Thomas Harris’ “Red Dragon” novel.

He also revealed that “Splice” director Vincenzo Natali is the director of first 3 episodes of “Hannibal” Season 3 – titled “Antipasto”, “Primavera”, and “Secondo”. Natali previously helmed 2 episodes of “Hannibal” Season 2, titled “Su-zakana” and “Naka-Choko”.

6. Richard Armitage had only 10 days to read the “Red Dragon” novel and change his body shape for his character

Richard Armitage as Francis Dolarhyde

Richard Armitage is starring in the series as serial killer Francis Dolarhyde, which is said to be a complex character. He’s a sympathetic psychopath who previously suffered emotional and physical from his adoptive family. This caused him to develop a deadly and ruthless personality.

During an interview with Fangoria, Armitage spoke about how he prepped for the character:

I had 10 days to read the novel and completely change my body shape to become like the bodybuilder that Thomas Harris describes. Yeah, I did quite a bit of training, but 10 days is just not enough time. In the book, he’s described as a bodybuilder, so I took his military history, I took my own physique, and I took the psychology of someone that wasn’t happy with themselves and was trying to become better. We put him somewhere in the middle of that.

Armitage also revealed that his character is nearly completely silent in episode 8, during which he makes his debut:

You don’t hear him really utter any words. His speech is slowly evolved throughout the 6 episodes, until the end when he’s eulogising in very succinct, poetic, gothic ways. It’s been interesting.

7. Will Graham’s wife, Molly, will be introduced

Image source: broadway.com
Image source: broadway.com

Dancy’s character will share a brief romance with Lady Murasaki’s attendant, Chiyoh (played by Tao Okamoto) sometime between the events of episode 7 and episode 8. He was spotted kissing her in one of AXN’s previews. However, Graham will eventually meet and marry Molly Foster (played by Nina Arianda).

According to Fuller, Molly is considered the light of Graham’s life.

He said:

We see Will Graham laughing and giggling because this woman brings him that light, and we invest in that relationship because we see Will Graham in a way we’ve never seen him before, we see him with a wedding band on his hand and smiling and laughing and chuckling, it’s all so sweet and sad.

Arianda already acted alongside Dancy in a Broadway show named “Venus in Fur” and starred alongside Michael Pitt (who played Mason Verger for a while but was replaced later) in the movie, “Rob the Mob”.

8. The series exists in the same fictional universe as the other series created by Fuller

Wonderfalls
Image source: TV Over Mind

“Hannibal” exists in the same fictional universe as other series created by Fuller, including “Wonderfalls”, “Pushing Daisies”, and “Mockingbird Lane”. Caroline Dhavernas, who played the lead role in “Wonderfalls”, plays Alana Bloom in “Hannibal”.

Chelan Simmons, who appeared in 2 episodes of “Wonderfalls”, also reprised her role as Gretchen Speck in an episode of “Hannibal” titled “Amuse-bouche”. Ellen Muth, who starred in Fuller’s “Dead Like Me”, guest-starred as a character named Georgia Madchen, a nod to her original character and a “reinterpretation of that character”.

9. Fuller said he would be surprised if the show will be renewed for Season 4

San Diego Comic-Con 2013

Fuller said he would be surprised if “Hannibal” will be renewed for the 4th season as the show is his first show to make it to Season 3. It’s no wonder that each season ends with such a bang as he told TheWrap that he treats every season of the show “as if it’s the last”.

He said:

The first season, if we had ended with Will Graham taking the fall for Hannibal’s crime, that would have been a really bold finale for the series. Same with the second season, if we had left with Hannibal Lecter walking out the door after leaving everyone for dead, that would have been a bold ending to the series. The Season 3 finale is no different.

Whether the series will get season renewal or not, Fuller revealed that he will continue to explore Lecter’s story:

There’s a storyline that I want to explore, but the idea for Season 4 is another reinvention of the format and the relationship. If we’re able to do that, then ideally we’d get into “Silence of the Lambs” at the end of Season 4, beginning of Season 5. But all of those plans shift because we just don’t know how much time we’ll get to tell the story, so I’ll be very surprised if there’s a Season 4. As I was with Season 3. As I was with Season 2.

He also revealed that he and his co-producers have some backup plans if  NBC ever decided to cancel “Hannibal”.

10. Alana will undergo “the greatest change” and team up with Mason Verger

Hannibal - Season 3

Though Alana was tricked and betrayed by Hannibal, she will come out stronger (mentally) than ever in the new season, by teaming up with another villain, Mason Verger (played by Joe Anderson).

She said:

She gets that, if Hannibal is to be found, someone wants him dead, more than anyone it’s Mason. His face has been destroyed — he ate his face because of Hannibal, so, he’s angry, and he has every right to be.

While Mason wants Hannibal dead, Alana just wants Hannibal behind bars.

She’s a smart cookie because she decides to go to him and use him as much as she can, to find Hannibal, and eventually, if possible, grab him before Mason gets to him and destroys him. Of course, that plan won’t go as she imagined, because they never do on “Hannibal”, but that’s the plan.

Fuller also confirmed that Alana will share a sex scene with Mason’s sister, Margot (played by Katharine Isabelle), which is described as “erotic and sensual and completely unusual for network TV shows” and “tells a story that people usually refuse to tell.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pNXLmDdrL0

“Hannibal” Season 3 premieres on 5th June 2015 (Friday) at 10pm on AXN (Astro Ch701) and AXN HD (Astro B.yond Ch721).

For more information about NBC’s “Hannibal”, visit its official website and follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Sources: Collider, Hannibal Fannibals (1) (2) (3), TV Guide, Fangoria, TheWrap

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Adrina was our former writer and now contributes to Hype. Find out what she's up to on her IG: @moonsglowslow.