“It’s beautiful.” Those are the last words spoken on Bryan Fuller’s immense masterpiece Hannibal, at least for now. And in many ways, as they ring out into the eternal hope for a season four of the show, they truly capture the essence of Hannibal. Its beautiful could refer to the show’s aesthetic, which exists as second to none, or to how it expanded the imagination of the TV landscape, thusly giving metaphorical birth to a genre of shows that followed in its footsteps. The beauty in question could also refer to the overt queerness of the show, celebrated in a time where subversions of the norm happened much more rarely, and to the slow-burn and epic romance between its main characters, Will and Hannibal.
And, of course, beauty could tip its head to the true legacy of the show, its fans. Known as the Fannibals, Hannibal‘s devotees, who feel seen and inspired by the series, remain to this day steeped in the love of the show and the hope for its return. That’s a lot of staying power for a show that aired in 2013. So, to help unpack Hannibal‘s true legacy and beauty and to look back on the adventures of the last decade, showrunner and creator Bryan Fuller joined Nerdist for a retrospective conversation. As they say, it’s beautiful.
As the conversation recounts, the sailing wasn’t always smooth for Hannibal. But the love and vision for the show its creators and fans held never wavered. In this decade-spanning conversation, one thing becomes incredibly clear. For Bryan Fuller, the fans and Fannibals sit at the very center of the work’s legacy. ( Fuller, as always, refers to himself as a Fannibal.) And this conversation feels wholly dedicated to them. From donning a flower crown, the symbol of the Fannibals, to professing his love at every turn, the last ten years for Bryan Fuller have revolved around seeing and being seen. Ultimately, Hannibal exists as a show for and about the idea of celebrating the other. And thus, it creates a space for many people who themselves feel othered. And that deep resonance gives Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal the gravitas to withstand the test of time.
As a show though, Hannibal is also a lot of fun; full of snark, wit, morbid humor, and cannibalism puns. And we savor the fun of this conversation as well. Hearing Fuller discuss fandom, fanfic, and some of his favorite Hannibal memories comes as an absolute delight.
And naturally, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to hear more about where Will and Hannibal’s relationship is heading. Well, Fuller had three words for season four of Hannibal. “Lurid erotic intimacy.” It’s definitely good news for Hannibal and Hannigram fans going into the next decade.
Whether or not Hannibal returns to our screens for another course in the future, no one can yet say. But either way, the show has left behind an indelible (bite) mark.