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‘Hannibal’ Season 4? Bryan Fuller Hints at Amazon, Netflix Discussions

The news of “Hannibal’s” cancellation earlier this week sent the Twitterverse into a frenzy with a #SaveHannibal campaign, set off by creator and exec producer Bryan Fuller.

As previously reported, the daring drama has garnered much interest from other venues so Fuller gave Variety a reality check on “Hannibal’s” future: While no deals have been sealed, discussions are happening.

“I know there have been discussions on a couple of fronts with Netflix and Amazon,” Fuller says. “But I believe our deal with Amazon precludes a Netflix component so I think Netflix, who has expressed interest and has expressed great enthusiasm for the show… I don’t think contractually with our Amazon contract, they can pick up the show.”

Amazon holds the rights to the first three seasons of “Hannibal,” so it would make most sense to bring new life to the show over there, as opposed to via Netflix or perhaps another network, such as NBC-owned cablers Syfy, USA or Esquire, which are all heavy on scripted dramas as of late. (As for those NBC Universal cable properties picking up his show, Fuller says he has not heard any rumblings.)

Though Amazon is a sensible fit, problems can arise without NBC involved, as an international component is key and much of the show’s funding comes from Europe, which is how Gaumont, the French studio behind “Hannibal,” secured the deal for the show’s current season.

“All I know is that things are being discussed with venues to see how interested they actually are. I don’t know to what extent,” Fuller says. “Without an NBC component, it’s a little complicated. Even some of our international partners, because there’s no NBC component, will pass on a fourth season.”

The exec producer also pointed out that outside interest may feel like “Hannibal” is “someone else’s,” thus he would rather pursue original programming than continue with an established series.

Despite this season hitting a series-low 0.5 rating in adults 18-49, however, the Twitter chatter helps the chances for pickup.

“Absolutely, it helps,” Fuller says of the intense social-media support. As news of the cancellation spread, fans followed Fuller’s lead and tweeted #SaveHannibal, even launching petitions for Netflix and other streaming services to grab onto the show. Supporters including Ryan Murphy tweeted support.

https://twitter.com/MrRPMurphy/status/613188664902840320

“The fact that the fannibals have been so passionate about the show and so enthusiastic, it always helps,” Fuller added. “It may not be the thing that seals the deal, but it is an indicator of audience interest.”

If the series does get another go, Fuller would embrace the chance to continue the story and would want to stay heavily involved, balancing his exec producer duties on his upcoming Starz series “American Gods,” which was just greenlit. He’s also excited for the chance to introduce the Clarice Starling character, but just because “Hannibal” could be letting go of broadcast boundaries, don’t expect a huge shift in content.

“I don’t know how much darker we can possibly go,” Fuller says with a laugh. “The concept for the Season 4 arc is one that is inherently twisted, but also such a dynamic shift from where we were the first three seasons that there is also a broadening of the palette to include a lot more humor.”

While all discussions are in early phases, Fuller is open to many options — even a “Hannibal” movie.

“The planned arc for Season 4 is a very exciting one, so I would love to see the show continue, whether it be as a series or even condensed into a thriller as a film, as well,” Fuller says. “But with any of these things, it’s so hard to predict which way interest would fall.”

In the meantime, “Hannibal” still has a lot of life to live. Fuller and the cast are heading to Comic-Con, and new episodes air through Aug. 27. “We have 10 more episodes that we get to share and live tweet with (the fans) and discuss with them. I think this season gets progressively more dynamic and exciting,” he says. “But I would love to work with this cast again. I think we’ve assembled such a fantastic group of people, I would be a fool not to work with them again.”

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