BySean Erickson, writer at
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

Hannibal Season 3 is less than two months away. Fans of the scariest, creepiest and most gruesome show on television have marked their calendars with a blood splattered O around June 4th for the return of Hannibal. It's been far too long since Mads Mikkelsen's deliciously depraved Hannibal left most of the show's cast of characters dying in pools of their own blood. Indeed, the wait is almost over.

The Tale of the Red Dragon

Hannibal has always been an adaptation of sorts on the first novel of Thomas Harris' to feature Hannibal Lecter, "Red Dragon". As with most TV shows or movies, there is the issue of having rights to certain materials which contain certain characters and Hannibal has its fun playing with the world Thomas Harris created in "Red Dragon". But season 3 of Hannibal is finally seeing the show get to the meat of that book.

Hannibal gets to the meat of Red Dragon in Season 3
Hannibal gets to the meat of Red Dragon in Season 3

Yes, this isn't exactly fresh territory but Hannibal has proven that it's take on the world of Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is a wholly unique vision and is unlike anything that has been seen in movies or television before. True, Thomas Harris' "Red Dragon" served as the inspiration for Michael Mann's Manhunter movie and Brett Ratner's less successful Red Dragon movie, but in season three we're likely to see a version of the events that will surpass these other attempts at every turn.

The television show Hannibal of course has an advantage that those movies didn't: hours of episodes to truly delve into the material and since it isn't a straight forward adaptation, the show can play with the characters and linger and explore the material whereas a movie usually needs to leave the majority of a book behind in order to release a movie with a reasonable running time.

Caution: Possible Spoilers For Hannibal Season 3 Follow!

Hannibal looks like it will be using the second half of season 3 to finally pick up the thread of the actual plot and story in Thomas Harris' "Red Dragon" book - though certain elements may be changed to fit the era that the show is set in and the path that the previous seasons have set the show on. But one element of the book may reveal what happens in the first half of the season. You see, as the book begins, Will Graham has already locked up Hannibal Lecter and has gone into retirement after going through the ordeal of accomplishing this feat.

Putting Hannibal Behind Bars

But once a new serial killer emerges, dubbed The Tooth Fairy due to his habit of leaving bite marks on his victims, FBI chief Jack Crawford convinces Will Graham to come out of retirement and help him find The Tooth Fairy. As in Manhunter and the Red Dragon movie (and Silence of the Lambs), Hannibal Lecter is behind bars (or glass, as the case may be) and Will Graham is forced to seek his help when the killer proves elusive.

Will Graham to require more counseling in Hannibal.
Will Graham to require more counseling in Hannibal.

Since Hannibal has had the rights to "Red Dragon" all along, the characters who help and hinder Will Grahams investigation into the Tooth Fairy are already well established in the show. Reporter Freddy Lounds and sanitarium director Frederick Chilton a prominent figures in the story and we are likely to see them play equally important roles in how Will Graham is able to finally track down The Tooth Fairy. And if things go according to the written word, it may not end well Freddy Lounds.

The Hobbit and Captain America actor Richard Armitage is set to appear on Hannibal as The Tooth Fairy aka Francis Dolarhyde. When he's not murdering entire families in their homes, Dolarhyde works at a film developing facility. In the age of digital photographs - it will be interesting to see how this might change in the series as this job plays a big role in how he's eventually discovered by Will Graham.

The Two Halves of Hannibal Season 3

The first half of Hannibal Season 3 is set to pick up the pieces that were left dangling at the end of the second season, with Hannibal flying off to Europe with Gillian Anderson's Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier. It could be that with Will Graham expected to be tracking down Hannibal through the streets of Italy, the first half of the season could end with Will finally capturing Hannibal Lecter.

Can Will Graham finally catch Hannibal in Season 3?
Can Will Graham finally catch Hannibal in Season 3?

The second half of the new season of Hannibal will pick up after a time jump - revealing Will Graham to have settled down with a wife and son - both of whom appear in Thomas Harris' book as well. These are certainly signs that Will Graham may have caught his Moby Dick and he can rest a bit easier. This is of course not a peace that lasts long. The stage will be set for the events of "Red Dragon" to unfold in the second half of Hannibal Season 3.

Will Graham, Family Man

Will Graham is able to put the pieces of who this new serial killer is with the help of Hannibal Lecter - who Frederick Chilton finds out has been corresponding with Francis Dolarhyde. Being the good friend to Will that he is, it's revealed that Lecter has given The Tooth Fairy the address of Will Graham's home, putting his new family in danger.

Will Graham coming out of retirement, visiting Hannibal Lecter and working for the FBI again attracts the attention of the tabloid reporter Freddy Lounds. Already having established a combative relationship in the show - we might see Graham once again use Lounds to his advantage.

Graham allows for an interview and decides to say some disparaging remarks about Dolarhyde's manhood in his profile in the hopes that he'll act out and make a mistake. Unfortunately, what this results in is Dolarhyde killing Freddy Lounds in a rather dramatic fashion. It made for one of the most memorable moments of Michael Mann's Manhunter adaptation.

The Trail of the Tooth Fairy

It is when Will Graham realizes that Dolarhyde must have knowledge of the houses that his families of victims live in that allows him to close in on Dolarhyde's profession as someone who has access to the family's home movies. Who will this Francis Dolarhyde be? What profession will he have that will allow him access to the details of people's homes?

We know that the love interest of Francis Dolarhyde will also be making her way from book to screen. True Blood's Rutina Wesley will be appearing as Reba McClane, a blind co-worker of Dolarhyde's that he strikes up a relationship with. His honest love for her causes him to try and give up his serial killer ways, but the feelings of jealousy that come with this love also prove to be his ultimate undoing and his murder of another co-worker he sees as a romantic rival finally points the finger directly to him.

What do you think? What changes do you think [Hannibal](series:721010) will make to the Red Dragon book and the Tooth Fairy in season 3? Let us know in the comments below!


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