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Hannibal Creator Regrets Not Exploring a Romantic Connection Between the Show’s Leads

Bryan Fuller, the creator of NBC’s Hannibal, says he even wanted the show’s two leads, Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham, to kiss in the series finale.


Bryan Fullerthe creator of the severely underrated psychological horror series Hannibal, says he wanted to further explore the intimate relationship between the show’s two leads, Dr. Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham. Hannibal debuted on NBC in 2013, airing three seasons before being abruptly canceled. The show stars Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a forensic psychiatrist who is secretly a cannibalistic serial killer, with Hugh Dancy playing FBI profiler Will Graham. Hannibal is based on Thomas Harris’ novels, one of which was previously adapted into the acclaimed 1991 film, The Silence of the Lambs, starring Jodie Foster and Sir Anthony Hopkins.


Over the course of Hannibal‘s three-year run, an intimate connection developed between the two main characters. Many fans have speculated that there may be more to Will and Hannibal’s chemistry than just a deep admiration for each other’s talents. Creator Bryan Fuller also confirmed in 2020 that his version of Hannibal Lecter is pansexual and in love with Will Graham in the NBC show. Fuller recently said he wanted to further explore a romantic relationship between the characters, but nothing came to fruition. Talking to EWFuller said,

“It started out as kind of a fascination with how straight guys interact with each other in a romantic way that is not sexual. Initially, I did not want to misrepresent Thomas Harris’ characters because they clearly have heterosexual leanings in the source material, but as with the kids these days, that sexuality became much more fluid over the course of the series. “

Fuller further said that a kissing scene was almost filmed in the season 3 finale of Hannibal, but ultimately, an unconventional ending was chosen, with both Will and Hannibal jumping off a cliff after besting Francis Dollarhyde, aka the Tooth Fairy (played by Richard Armitage).

“There were several takes and there was never any actual lip locking. But there was a lingering [in one take] where Mads’s lips parted, hovering over Will’s mouth in a way that went on … For a while. When I was watching dailies, it seemed like an eternity. The issue for me was always, I did not want to make their love story expectational or artificial or forced. I always wanted it to be organic. I did not know in that moment if it would cross over into that level of physicality beyond holding each other, and there was something about holding each other and leaning in to each other and looking deeply into each other’s eyes that felt more authentic and more romantic to me than a kiss ever would. “

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Bryan Fuller says, in hindsight, he should have included a kiss between Hannibal and Will, which at the time was scrapped because it did not feel authentic, a decision he regrets now. “But if I had to do it again, I might suggest to kiss and see how it played. But neither of the actors were ever afraid of going there. If there were any concerns, it was always just about remaining authentic. That certainly was my goal because, yes, I absolutely wanted to see them kiss, “Fuller said.

Hannibal ended on an ambiguous note that not only concluded the show satisfyingly but also left the door open for a revival. Fans have been rallying for a fourth season for years now, and the entire cast is ready to return. Hannibal briefly streamed on Netflix in the US, which has led to a surge in the show’s popularity. Last year, Mads Mikkelsen expressed hopes of a revival. But so far, only rumors are swirling on the internet regarding Hannibal season 4 and that Netflix is ​​reportedly interested in reviving the show. Hopefully, those reports turn out to be true.

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