The highly anticipated return of the television show “Hannibal” is just around the corner, and with it an entirely new setting. While the show has had to weave through the source material that it only has partial rights to in the past, this season will draw more heavily from author Thomas Harris’ novels than ever.
For those unfamiliar, NBC’s “Hannibal” is based not only on the very popular movie franchise that kicked off with “Silence of the Lambs” in 1991, it's also based on the collection of novels in which the Hannibal Lecter character was original conceived. According to reports from Entertainment Weekly, Season 3 of the popular drama will draw elements from the stories “Red Dragon,” “Hannibal” and “Hannibal Rising” – all of which were turned into movies following the success of the 1991 Oscar-winning film.
Following the harrowing events in the Season 2 finale, the plot synopsis for the first return episode revealed the new season will kick off with Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) moving through Europe on the run from the FBI, according to Screen Crush. Together with Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson), the serial killer will continue his old habits in a new setting. Drawing from the book, “Hannibal,” the show will feature the character Pazzi, played in the 2001 film by Giancarlo Giannini. The character gets suspicious of Hannibal in the movie and almost outs his whereabouts to the FBI. Flashbacks will also draw inspiration from the character’s origin story “Hannibal Rising” while he’s home in his native land.
However, the biggest plot point of Season 3 will be the introduction of the Tooth Fairy, the principal bad guy that Will Graham (played in the show by Hugh Dancy) needs Lecter’s help to capture in the source material. In the books, the Tooth Fairy (A.K.A. Francis Dolarhyde) is ritualistically killing entire families when Graham is put on his trail in “Red Dragon.” Ralph Fiennes played the character in the 2002 film version.
While it toed the line in Season 2, NBC’s “Hannibal” can’t draw too heavily from its most popular bit of source material, “Silence of the Lambs.” As The Wrap notes, the show was not given the rights to the character Clarice Starling, who was a sizeable part of most of the movies.
“Hannibal” returns to NBC Thursday nights at 10 p.m. EDT on June 4.