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Bryan Fuller walks us through Hannibal’s debut season

Few who follow TV had much hope at all for NBC’s Hannibal, an international co-production that aimed to take a seemingly played-out Hannibal Lecter character and build a crime procedural around him. Instead, the resulting series was unlike anything else on TV from frame one, a languid, often beautiful series that stared at the horrors men can do to each other but never pulled away or tried to undercut its mood with glib, superficial elements. Much of that was due to the sterling ensemble cast, the talented crew, and an A-list of TV directors. But even more was due to developer and showrunner Bryan Fuller, who took the idea of a Hannibal Lecter TV show and returned to what had made the character so compelling in the first place, drawing liberally from Thomas Harris’ novels and using the project as a way to flip his reputation as a writer—based heavily on whimsy and quirky dialogue—on its ear. In this, the first of four parts, Fuller walks The A.V. Club through the first three episodes of the series, discussing how he reinvented these familiar characters, the casting process for the Will Graham and Hannibal characters, and why much of the show was re-written on the fly.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4