Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and the eponymous Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) are again pitted against each other in Season Two.
Tremendous pressure and excitement going into second season for show creator.
IN a strange twist of events, the first season of Hannibal ends with FBI criminal profiler extraordinaire Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) sent to a dungeon cell at the Baltimore Psychiatric Hospital on murder charges, while Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) remains a free man.
This cell looks very much like the one occupied by Dr Hannibal Lecter in The Silence Of The Lambs, a film based on the book written by Thomas Harris.
This TV show, which is a reinterpretation of Harris’ series of suspense novels featuring Hannibal Lecter, has given nods to the award-winning movie starring Anthony Hopkins. Still, it is a surprise when one of the promotional pictures for the series’ second season has Will in a restraining mask not unlike the one worn by Hopkins in that film.
In a transcript with creator Bryan Fuller, courtesy of AXN, he acknowledged that there is tremendous pressure and excitement going into the second season because of how the series ended its first.
“We subverted the Hannibal Lecter legacy by putting Will Graham where Hannibal Lecter should be ... so that gives us a whole new playing field where we get to play with the iconography of Hannibal Lecter in the institution but it is actually Will Graham and he is an innocent man whom no one believes and he’s out to get justice and also a little bit of revenge,” Fuller said.
In the guise of being Will’s psychiatrist and friend in the first season, Hannibal engaged the troubled FBI profiler in a number of mind games which concluded with Will getting framed for all the murders Hannibal has committed.
“At the end of the first season, Will Graham has a moment of clarity for the first time over the entire arc of the show. Up until that point, he is a very confused, tortured, tormented man and then we give him this moment of clarity – that Hannibal Lecter did this to me – so Season Two is really about him coming out swinging. What is his strategy? How is he going to get justice? How is he going to bring Hannibal down and it’s going to take the entire course of the season to find out.
“Will was the hunted in the first season and now he is a bit of a hunter trying to figure out how he can trap Hannibal Lecter from the confines of a mental institution, which is no small task. So he has to have a plan and carry it through very meticulously in order to pull it off because no one in the world believes him.”
The second season explores how Will is going to do just that when he is trapped within the four walls of the institution. Also, Hannibal is not a man who is easily rattled – he has always managed to turn any obstacles to his advantage.
“The challenge for the second season was how to keep Will Graham active, how to keep him integrated into the story in a way that has him driving it from a place of seclusion and also containment,” said Fuller.
“So that was a challenge that I think we rose to the task of seeing how Will Graham is going to be able to manipulate not just Hannibal Lecter but all the characters in the piece to get to the ultimate goal of proving that Hannibal Lecter did this to him.”
Catch new episodes of Hannibal every Tuesday at 10pm on AXN (Astro Ch 701). From May 8 onwards, Hannibal will air every Thursday at 10pm.