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'Hannibal' Finds Inspiration In 'Red Dragon'

Bryan Fuller takes on NBC's upcoming drama about Dr. Lecter

Bryan Fuller is mining background elements from Thomas Harris’ book "Red Dragon" to craft the initial seasons of NBC's upcoming drama "Hannibal."

Written by Fuller ("Pushing Daises," "Wonderfalls"), "Hannibal" centers on the infamous cannibal psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter, who works with FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) to solve crimes. However, unlike "Silence of the Lambs," the series begins by exploring Lecter's time before he exposed his true nature. Graham is in for quite a shock.

“It’s before he was incarcerated; so he’s more of a peacock,” Fuller 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.”

Fuller describes the series as "a love story, for lack of a better description" between Graham and Lecter.

“As Hannibal has said [to Graham] in a couple of the movies, ‘You’re a lot more like me than you realize,’" Fuller said. "We’ll get to the bottom of exactly what that means over the course of the first two seasons. But we’re taking our sweet precious time.”

NBC has ordered a 13-episode season, with David Slade set to direct the first episode. He has helmed features such as "30 Days of Night" and "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" and has directed television episodes from NBC's drama "Awake" and AMC's "Breaking Bad."

Fuller is also producing the series along with Martha DeLaurentiis, Sara Colleton, Jesse Alexander and Katie O'Connell.

See more of Fuller's interview at EW.com.

About the Author

Bryant L. Griffin is managing editor for Airlock Alpha, 1701News and Rabid Doll, and a writer for the entire GenreNexus network. He works at a major-metro newspaper and served as a journalist in the U.S. Army. In 2002, he joined Nexus Media Group Inc., contributing to many early design concepts before shifting his focus back to writing. Bryant hails from Tampa, Fla.
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