I do not like thinking about the possibility that there will not be a season 4 of Hannibal. It’s like thinking of the possibility of President Trump *HRK* except less global disaster and genocide. But they both involve crying until I’m sick and unresolved self-righteous anger.
But! In the event there is not a season 4, I have come up with this beautiful headcanon of Mads and Hugh producing THEIR OWN season 4 because no one would be more upset and more gung-ho to ABSOLUTELY fucking do season 4 than these two bbs.
And with that, I present to you… (a special holiday treat inspired by @kristsune)
NOT! Hannibal Season 4:
The youtube video opened to Hugh Dancy sitting down in what appeared to be someone’s garage, “Hi, guys, Hugh Dancy here.”
“And Mads!” the scruffy, lanky Dane leaned over his shoulder, smiling at the camera.
“Yes, and we’re here in Mads’ garage because, as you might know, Hannibal, the show that we were in together two years ago, was cancelled. And we hoped and we prayed and we crossed our fingers really hard that there would be a season 4, but it doesn’t look like there’s going to be one,” Hugh and Mads both pouted at the screen.
“And everyone was really sad about this,” Hugh continued.
“Heartbroken,” Mads interrupted.
“None moreso than we ourselves,” Hugh glanced up at Mads knowingly, “but also you guys, the Fannibals out there, and um… well, we didn’t take the cancellation lying down. We thought there was… more of the story to be told, enough of it left that we could make a fourth season, and Mads and I,” Hugh looked up at Mads for confirmation, “we both felt that you guys deserved more. And we wanted to do more, to give you more. So we’re going to produce our own fourth season of Hannibal.”
“Surprise!” Mads beamed, squeezing Hugh’s shoulder in excitement.
“We’ve never done anything like this before. We’re doing it literally out of Mads’ garage, this garage that you see before you,” Hugh lifted his phone, to quickly pan around Mads’ storage space, “We have no production team, no budget, no affiliation with anyone else, we’re just doing it because we really felt Hannibal and Will deserved another chapter. So um…” Hugh cleared his throat, bringing the view back to him and Mads, “I have no idea how this will go. It might flop after one episode, we might make it through a whole season! Who knows! But I hope you’ll come watch this because we really are doing it for you.”
Hugh leaned back, looking up at Mads, “Mads, anything to add?”
Mads crouched down, peering into the lens, “Um… just that we love the Fannibals and thank you for staying strong all this time and never giving up. We’re so sorry we can’t do this properly for you, but we’re gonna try!”
“And! Before I forget, we’re on a really tight time budget as well,” Hugh poked his head under Mads’ arm again, “We’ll be shooting this on… one or both of our phones, I guess, over the next few months because in June, I have to fly back to the states and Mads has that thing… you know that, that thing,” he snapped his fingers, pretending to forget that Mads was in Star Wars, “that thing in space with the infinitely marketable merchandise…”
Hugh grinned widely as Mads shoved him playfully, “Shut it, Dancy.”
Hugh giggled, straightening the frame again, “Okay, I think that’s enough for now. We’ll be back, hopefully soon, with the first episode of Hannibal season 4! Bye!”
(it was at this point I got very tired because Christmas so the rest is included in the style of bullet points)
- Everyone is half convinced this video is a prank. To the point that Hugh and Mads have to email Bryan to confirm it on twitter on their behalf. Bryan, meanwhile, has been crying and drowning his sorrows in ice cream because HIS BABY WAS CANCELLED AND HE IS NOT OKAY WITH ANOTHER ONE OF HIS PRECIOUS CREATIONS NEVER COMING BACK. But seeing his beloved actors doing this, the fact that they are dedicated to the point of doing this purely out of the generosity of their souls, in their off-time from real work that pays the bills, brings a smile to his face and he wants to do anything he can to help them achieve their dream!
- Everyone is so moved by this the Fannibals start a kickstarter to back the project, which is immediately shut down because Mads and Hugh freak. out. “NO NO NO NO! We don’t want your money, please, really, we’re happy to do this. We love you guys, but this is not about you supporting us, this is about us giving back. Please don’t send us your money and please don’t give money to anything that says it’s for us because it isn’t, we’re not getting a cent of it, people are literally stealing your money. So don’t give money, just watch and enjoy.”
- With that taken care of, Mads and Hugh each try their hand at script writing. This goes disastrously.
“So how do we get out of the sea?”
“I don’t fucking know, Bryan was keeping that a secret for season 4.”
“Which we’re not going to have.”
“Should we just ask Bryan?”
“He said something about skipping ahead 4 years, giving Hannibal the 4 years he’s owed with Will.”
“The fans would want to see how we survive though, we have to do something about it.”
“Do we have to go shoot on the beach?”
“You on the beach Mads? Even in the dead of night we couldn’t get away with that, you’d be mobbed. I’d be mobbed, probably, if only because I was with you. Also, shooting in the dark and wet on the North Sea? We’ll freeze to death! And I think we need a permit or something, or a lifeguard to make sure we don’t die trying to do this.”
“So back to skipping ahead 4 years…”
“But we caaaan’t…”
- Family members on both sides are enlisted to paint sets. There is one particularly fine and realistic looking pine tree, then everyone realized how fucking time-consuming set design is and gave up. Hannibal’s office became a few cardboard boxes of varying size that have ‘Chair,’ ‘Other Chair,’ and ‘Desk’ written on them respectively. That one pine tree tho, fucking gorgeous. They put it in every shot, indoor or outdoor, just because it’s the one piece of their set that they can be proud of.
- Hugh and Mads are both forced to forego make up and costume. This is unfortunate on both sides. Hugh, for one, was REALLY looking forward to wearing his first Murder Husbands suit of haute couture and now that will never happen and he’s really kinda bummed. Mads, for another, is impossible to take seriously as the world’s most terrifying serial killer when he’s in Adidas and yet he refuses to change. This proves a topic of stress and dissension for the entire filming process, eventually culminating in Hugh threatening to burn Mads’ entire wardrobe if he won’t fucking put on a goddamn tie YOU’RE HANNIBAL LECTER DAMN IT HE DOES NOT WEAR RUNNING SHOES TO THE OPERA.
- Beards. Beards are also an issue. Hugh is allowed to keep his, under the qualification that he is Will Graham who has never been clean-shaven in the entire show. As long as he keeps it tidy, he gets to be a scruffy manly man. Mads feels that he is WHOLLY within his rights justifying why Hannibal would wear a beard. And while some of these arguments are convincing, Mads in his natural habitat looks so much like a suburban dad he couldn’t intimidate a skittish gerbil. So, as Hugh’s lighter draws ever closer to his jogging pants, he consents to shave off his fluffy, silver beard that he had been quite proud of, in order to look more the part.
- However, Mads vetoes cutting his, by now, shoulder-length hair. There is literally zero, in-character justification for this as both he and Hugh know Hannibal is far too tidy and detail-obsessed to miss a hair cut or let it grow out so long it started to become an issue for personal hygiene and/or distinguishing evidence at a crime scene. But he’s already sacrificing his beard and putting on slightly less Adidas themed clothes, so he clings to this as his last dignity and he looks so good with the long hair, it actually accentuates the long, harsh bones of his face, perfect for Hannibal, that Hugh agrees. And thus the Hannibun becomes canon.
- Hugh and Mads STRONGLY REGRET their decision to film this on their phones and not just break the bank buying a fucking camera, cameras plural even, and set them up around the garage. Their arms ACHE after filming the 20 minute long episode. On top of which, the phones pick up every nudge, jerk, and wobble, their mics are terrible so half the time you can’t hear what they’re saying if the phone isn’t in range, but their terrible light sensitivity means that the new episode is filmed in traditional Hannibal style. No lights, camera, action.
- Hugh and Mads are introduced to the new and exciting world of Editing Software. They find a new appreciation for the the entire Post-Production crew. They WEEP and prostrate themselves before the digital editing gods that they were because EDITING IS A FUCKING NIGHTMARE. Even considering they can’t do any special effects because they don’t know how to, simply cutting the film and then putting it back together so it runs smoothly and coherently is awful! It’s hours of sitting there staring at the same 5 seconds of film, trying to figure out the least abrupt place to cut and then shove it in where it needs to go. Mads and Hugh instantly agree they need to hire someone to do this for them because neither of them has the patience to sit there and fiddle with it on the computer for hours.
- Public reception of the first episode is blatant adoration, even though it’s nearly incoherent. Fannibals put up subtitles, gif the fuck out of it, display it everywhere, and are generally as encouraging as humanly possible.
- Bryan headdesks when he hears how bad the script is and resolves to write them scripts off to the side, even though he’s incredibly busy with American Gods and Amazing Stories. He just CAN’T let the two of them suffer through writing it themselves and he’s SO GODDAMN PROUD that they would do this, he just has to step in. He wishes he could be there in person to cheer them on, but will have to satisfy himself through vigorous emailing for now.
- The rest of the cast of Hannibal eventually sees it and DEMANDS TO KNOW WHY THEY WERE NOT INVITED. Hugh and Mads are overjoyed and extremely welcoming, but everyone is all tied up with different work schedules so a full episode with everyone back is impossible. But! Little by little they all trickle in, getting at least a cameo in an episode:
Caroline is the first, which is a little awkward since the Hannibal-Will-Alana reunion will almost certainly end in a bloodbath and it seems cruel to kill her after they haven’t seen her in two years. So they work out a way to put Alana in the episode without her actually interacting with Hannibal or Will. They’re just so happy to see her and they do a bonus video so she can say hi to the Fannibals herself.
Scott and Aaron manage to coordinate to come together and do a week-long series of vines about wandering around Denmark, with and without Mads, mispronouncing things and making as many Hannibal references as possible. There is one in which they are deeply embarrassing and Mads pretends not to know them as they butcher their way through Danish words. In retaliation, they threaten to draw attention to him, which of course cuts to Mads doing a lovely impromptu Hannibal impression and Scott and Aaron are reminded who they’re fucking with. They don’t get to do much in the actual episodes, but they are a HUGE help with filming and it’s a very lovely, easy week while they stay and help with the odds and ends of production.
Laurence shows up about half-way through the season, complaining that NO ONE TOLD HIM and loudly suggesting they ought to have flown him out. Hugh and Mads are thrilled to see him and are very excited about attempting to do a fight scene with Jack, something they haven’t safely been able to coordinate thus far in the filming. Laurence is ALL FOR IT and Mads does his best improvising as a fight scene choreographer and teaching them to be graceful, like he is. Not really, but they do film a bonus scene where Mads tries to teach them ballet while both Hugh and Laurence insist that they can do it perfectly! Mads stands off to the side, biting his tongue.
Gillian manages to fly down, very late in the season, which is awkward, given where we left Bedelia, but she is a delight to have on set again. Mads manages to squeeze in a scene of pure flirtation between Hannibal and Bedelia, with much rolling of the eyes from Hugh (perhaps a trace of jealousy, obviously residual from Will. Obviously.) They do a quick Q&A with international superstar Gillian Anderson and she talks about how much she misses the show and would be missing it anyway since she was clearly about to get eaten. She hopes her leg tasted delicious.
- There is a plus side to no longer being tied to a production company though and no longer publishing on television. All the episodes are released exclusively on youtube which has much laxer censorship laws. This means that Hugh, Mads, and Bryan no longer have to play to a homophobic audience that couldn’t deal with two men who are clearly soulmates kissing. Which means in episode 10 of the series, when Will makes his first solo kill and brings it home to Hannibal, Hannibal’s bursting heart can be expressed by a full-on kiss on the mouth. For several seconds. Possibly minutes. Just… full minutes of Mads Mikkelsen kissing Hugh Dancy. Because this is fucking youtube and WE FINALLY CAN.
- After the episode, with full-length kiss intact and unedited, full of heavy breathing and grainy blushes, Bryan reveals that the kiss was not even in his script and he posts a condemning screenshot of said script. Honestly, not one Fannibal is surprised.