‘Hannibal’ Producers Explain When Clarice Starling Enters Show, Who Survived Season 2

Comic-Con 2014: When will the NBC prequel and “Silence of the Lambs” merge? Plus, who’s coming back for Season 3?

nbc hannibal season 3 comic con

As part of the prehistory leading up to the film “Silence of the Lambs,” NBC’s “Hannibal” producers tackled the big question: When will the show’s events meet with the movie and when will Clarice Starling, the FBI newbie played spectacularly by Jodie Foster, enter the series.

The TV series is based on (and the producers have rights to) “Hannibal,” “Hannibal Rising” and “The Red Dragon” novels by Thomas Harris. At the pace the series is going and in the way it’s jumping through the novels, according to producer Martha DeLaurentis at Thursday’s San Diego Comic-Con panel, the events of the film should arrive circa Season 4. But, there may be a glitch in getting Clarice to the series.

“MGM holds those rights to that property,” DeLaurentis explained. “We want to do it with MGM. If they say no, because they want to do their own series, then we’ll just do our own mash-up.”

Also read: NBC Execs Talk Cosby, ‘Hannibal,’ and Not Griping About Emmys

Now that that’s been explained, the panel confirmed some fun stuff about the upcoming Season 3, including who’s coming back from last season’s bloody finale, which new characters are coming in and the tone of the season.

First off, Season 3 will start a year after last season’s finale. “We want to be very vague with who survived that bloody, bloody night, and because we wanted to land the characters in a place where they were active,” executive producer Bryan Fuller said.

“It was very intentional that we wanted to take a space, land Hannibal and Bedelia, because the first episode is very much a pilot for a new series starring Gillian Anderson and Mads Mikkelsen. It was important for us to have a passage of time so we could come into their story at the most dramatic point, and episode 4 will detail what happened between the season 2 finale and the events of season 3. We’re telling the story emotionally as opposed to temporally.”

See video: ‘Hannibal’ Gets Hilarious Re-cut as a Celebrity Cooking Show

And who did they reveal is coming back? After everyone was seated, Fuller announced a surprise guest: “Even though they shouldn’t be here, because they were shot in the face,” Fuller said before bringing out Raul Esparza, who plays Dr. Chilton. “He’s going to be a big part of Season 3.”

“Bryan’s always been very kind to me about what happens to Chilton,” Esparza would later say about his character’s near death experiences. “He comes to me and says, ‘We’re gonna gut you! But it’ll be OK.’”

Sadly, Eddie Izzard won’t be back alive — Hannibal ate him. But, he’ll be back in a flashback.

Also read: ‘Hannibal’ Renewed for Season 3

Fuller also named some new characters who will join the series in Season 3, including Commander Apache on Episode 2, Lady Murasaki on Episode 3, Cordell on Episode 4 and Francis Dolarhyde on Episode 8.