is bringing many new faces to Season 3, according to showrunner Bryan Fuller. During the show's 2014 San Diego Comic-Con panel, Fuller promised that fan-favorite book characters including Lady Murasaki (who has not been cast) and Francis Dolarhyde.
There also will be a surprising number of characters thought to be dead who will be back for more. Raul Esparza's Frederick Chilton will have a role to play in Season 3 despite being shot in the face in Season 2. Meanwhile, Eddie Izzard's Abel Gideon will appear in a flashback and Kacey Rohl's Abigail Hobbs also will be seen again. Fuller admits he'd like to do a Season 3 episode that explores Abigail's Season 2 absence.
Season 3 will pick up a year after the "bloody, bloody night" of Season 2, and that the premiere will feel "very much [like] a pilot for a new series starring Gillian Anderson and Mads Mikkelsen." The first half of Season 3 is FBI-light, with those characters only appearing in one episode of seven. Instead, that arc will be "all about the pursuit of Hannibal, and we kind of abandon that structure [of Seasons 1 and 2] for something close to the books," says Fuller.
For fans of the Thomas Harris novels that "Hannibal" is based on, Fuller says the first half of Season 3 will have Hannibal on the run and "mine the book of 'Hannibal Rising' as well as the book of 'Hannibal.'" The story of "Red Dragon" will pick up in episode 8 of Season 3, and likely carry over into Season 4.
The big question is when -- and if -- "Hannibal" will ever reach "The Silence of the Lambs" storylines. Martha DeLaurentis and Fuller are doing a big push to get MGM, which owns the rights to the book, to partner with them on "Silence of the Lambs" content in Season 4. "If that doesn't happen, we would do our own shmirly shmarly," DeLaurentis says. Fuller adds, "We'll tweet their email addresses if they say no. ... I want to complete the story."
The food theme of Season 3 is "Italian," which Fuller says is a good indicator of where Hannibal and Bedelia Du Maurier's plane lands. Fuller also puts a call out for fans to tweet suggestions for Will Graham's dog's names, as Alana's "Applesauce" was a name sent in my a Twitter user.
"Hannibal" Season 3 is slated to premiere in 2015.