Swiggity Swanel That Was a Panel – SDCC Hannibal Panel Recap

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It’s very clear from today’s Comic Con panel that Bryan Fuller has his finger on the fandom a pulse. He referred to the stag as “Swiggity Swag the Nightmare Stag” and then donned a flower crown from one of the girls in the audience. Fuller even referred to himself as a Fannibal and said he felt like he was in good company. Each of these statements was met with uproarious applause from the audience. It’s clear that he has a great deal of respect for us and, in turn, we fannibals should continue showing the creators and actors the respect they absolutely deserve.  It was definitely a panel to remember and I hope they return to Comic Con next year.

Oh, and Hugh Dancy was gorgeous, of course. All in all, the panel was well worth the 5 hour wait.

First of all, Mads Mikkelsen wasn’t there, but there was definitely a fair amount of discussion about him.

“Those suits are wasted on [Mads],” Hugh Dancy said, because he usually dresses quite casually off screen. As someone who has recently been binging Mads films, I’ve gotta say he’s attractive both dressed up and dressed down, but Hugh definitely dresses up a bit more in his personal life.

“Mads is a very controlled actor. He can do these tiny minuscule things,” Dancy went on to say. If you’ve been following my articles then you know I very much agree with that statement. This is something I started to appreciate the more I reviewed his work.  Dancy and the crew seem to appreciate it too.  Mads can act his ass off with one single eye (which he does frequently) and I’m happy to see his skill being appreciated in the public sphere.

According to Fuller, Mads didn’t want to play Hopkins or Cox.  He wanted to play Satan.  Mads as Hannibal “is the darkest most well-informed person in the room.”

It’s clear that everyone on set is impressed by Mads and, lets face it, so are we.

The panel also provided insights into the minds of Fuller, Slade, and Dancy.  They discussed their influences and motivations that helped form this show that we all know and love.

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Bryan Fuller donning a flower crown.

Fuller’s biggest influences for the look and feel of the show were Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch.  Looking back on the season, you can definitely see where these artists influenced him.  Director David Slade pulled a lot of his influence from Salem’s Lot.  He stated that even though there aren’t a lot of visual similarities, he wanted it to have the same feel as the film did. Both Slade and Fuller are long time Hannibal fans.  Fuller  felt this version of the Hannibal story gave him a chance to explore it cinematically in a way no one has. He also wanted to focus on Will Graham, which is a story that hasn’t been explored as in depth as it could have been.  Personally I feel he’s succeeded on both accounts.  This show is a piece of art, Fuller, and you and everyone involved should be proud.

Speaking of Will Graham, Hugh Dancy had a lot of insight into how he arrived at this particular interpretation of the charter. Dancy diligently read Red Dragon because it gets in Will’s head, but he hadn’t read the books before taking the role.  He had also seen Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, but chose stay away from previous interpretations of Will.  It’s “not that helpful once you start to get a handle on the character,” he said.  When asked how he stepped away from Will Graham after filming he jokingly replied “a beer helps.”  He said that even though Will goes to some very intense places, he is able to step out of it after being fully immersed in the character.  The show is dark but, like the fandom, Dancy and the crew are very fun and playful with their answers.  The insight into Will was informative, but also very fun!  I am very much looking forward to where they take Will now that he knows what Hannibal truly is.

“It’s hard work for us all,” Dancy said.  “But it’s beyond question one of the most richly rewarding and fun things I’ve ever done.”

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Bryan Fuller, Martha De Laurentiis, Hugh Dancy, and David Slade

There was a portion of the panel where audience members could come up and ask questions and many of them got very intriguing answers.  One fan mentioned that encephalitis is something that can be contracted from cannibalism, which is a theory that many people in fandom have taken to, but the writers seemed stumped.  Fuller said “yes,” but it was clear they hadn’t really thought of it before.  I found that rather surprising all things considered.  Fuller jokingly invited the question asker to join the writing staff.  Laughs were had.

One fan also asked a shipping question, which from my experience in the Supernatural fandom tends to illicit groans and anger from the audience and awkwardness from those on stage (except Misha Collins and Cohen & Speight, of course).  But this was very different.  Everyone on stage treated the question with absolute respect.

Dancy was the first to take a stab at the question stating “I think there is a profound bond between them, but I don’t think it’s sexual.”

“Oh yeah?” Fuller responded.  The audience laughed.  Fuller clearly ships it.  He ships it almost as much as Mads Mikkelsen, it seems.

Dancy went on to state that he doesn’t “personally see it as romantic, but I’m not going to take it from you.”  That is possibly the nicest thing I’ve ever heard an actor say in regards to a shipping question and I really want to hug him for it (among other reasons).

Fuller went on to ask “what is love?” He stated that love doesn’t have to be sexual and that he absolutely believes that Will and Hannibal love each other.  To hear that from the creator of the show made my shipper heart go all pitter patter.  That on top of Mads Mikkelsen constantly turning his questions in interviews back on how much Hannibal loves Will makes me want to climb a mountain and shout “MY SHIP IS CANON” at the top of my lungs.  It’s beautiful, man.  Just beautiful.

We also got some insights into season 2.  Now there is nothing too spoilery with what they said, but if you don’t want to know anything, then maybe you should stop reading here.  But really, there’s not much spoilery stuff here at all I promise.

Fuller has stated that the arc for season 2 has been crafted and they just finished breaking episode 3.  We will see Will hit rock bottom.  He has no fear and we will see a “scrappy feisty Will Graham.”  There will be a trial, Fuller said.  Dancy stated that they are “signing on for 7 years potentially,” which made the audience go wild.  If this show lasts that long I will be one super happy fannibal.  Fingers crossed.  From the sound of it, season 2 is going to be very very good.  I can’t wait!

This isn’t the last of our Hannibal coverage.  Tomorrow morning is the Hannibal Nerd HQ panel and we will be there to cover it.  Stay tuned!

As one final note on this particular panel, I took about 40 pictures in between taking notes for this article, but most of them were unusable because of Hugh Dancy’s derpy facial expressions.  I love the man dearly, but wow there were a lot of awful pictures of him.  For fun I’m going to include my favorite derp face to close the article.  Good evening, Fannibals!  I need to get some sleep before tomorrows event.  It’s going to be in an even smaller setting than this one and hopefully I’ll get less derp face and more drop dead gorgeousness.

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Hugh Dancy, King of DERP

Author: Angel

Stephanie “Angel” Wilson is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and has essays published in Fandom Frontlines.

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