"Hannibal" stars Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen couldn't make it to Comic-Con this year, but the bulk of the show's supporting cast — including Caroline Dhavernas, Scott Thompson, Aaron Abrams, and surprise returnee Raul Esparza — were able to be in San Diego, and I got a chance to sit down with the four of them the morning after their lively Comic-Con panel. We talked about the unexpected reprieve for Esparza's Dr. Chilton, the "Hannibal" supporting player trap of being more in danger the more you're given to do, how the show will look with Price and Zeller as the only completely healthy good guy characters left, and a lot more.
"Hannibal" showrunner Bryan Fuller was much more open with information at the show's Comic-Con panel, revealing that season 3 would jump ahead a year, eschew the Killer of the Week format, and introduce other Thomas Harris characters like Murasaki and Francis Dolarhyde. So when I got a chance the next day to sit down with Fuller, lead director David Slade and longtime Hannibal Lecter movie/TV producer Martha DeLaurentiis, I didn't have to spend a lot of time probing for information, and could instead go a little deeper on some of those revelations, like how Fuller intends to structure the story of Dolarhyde (the chief villain of "Red Dragon," the novel that introduced Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham), how Slade shot the chilling closing sequence of season 2, how the survivors of that bloody evening might look in season 3, and more.
Just a quick housekeeping note: After two-plus weeks at press tour and Comic-Con, I'm taking this week off to recuperate and remind my family what I look like. Other than the "Halt and Catch Fire" review that was published this morning, plus a couple of video interviews I did with team "Hannibal" at Comic-Con (and which will be published over the next couple of days), don't expect anything from me until Monday. I'm most likely skipping over reviewing the next episodes of "The Bridge," "The Leftovers" and "Masters of Sex" and will jump back in next week with a bunch of things.
Have fun without me, folks.
Late in last night's episode of AMC's "Halt and Catch Fire," the show's hero, computer salesman Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace), tries to dismiss a competitor who's never experienced the joy of creating something(*). Joe's rival points out that they're both in the computer compatible business, just trying to copy IBM, and therefore neither can brag much about their flair for originality.
A review of tonight's "The Leftovers" coming up just as soon as I listen to a little Hall & Oates...
A review of tonight's "Masters of Sex" coming up just as soon as the chef walks the cow through a warm room...
When you cover press tour and Comic-Con back to back, you tend to hear a lot of the same anecdotes and explanations again in rapid succession. This was mostly true in the case of NBC's "Constantine" making its Comic-Con debut — with a screening of the pilot episode, followed by a 10 minute Q&A with the stars and producers David Goyer and Daniel Cerone — but there were some notable new things since last I saw this bunch at press tour.
A year ago, the Comic-Con organizers badly underestimated the appeal of "Orphan Black," putting the BBC America cult hit into one of the convention center's smaller rooms for a TV panel, which led to a long and angry line and an overcrowded room. But rather than automatically award the show a promotion to Ballroom 20 (seating capacity of around 4,000), the Con organizers only bumped "Orphan Black" up to a room with a capacity of around 1,000 — double a year ago, but still likely not enough to accommodate the show's many fans.
It's Marvel TV time at Comic-Con, with an hour-long panel that promises to feature Jeph Loeb plus still-unnamed castmembers from both "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" and "Marvel's Agent Carter." The question is, will Marvel stop with just the two ABC dramas, or will they start trying to build excitement for the four upcoming Netflix series by, say, bringing in "Daredevil" stars Charlie Cox and Deborah Ann Woll for surprise appearances? (Woll has a long and impressive history of Comic-Con cosplay, including stints as Hit Girl and Axe Cop, so I wouldn't be shocked in the least if she came dressed as Elektra — or Daredevil, for that matter.) And will Loeb be as bombastic as in his usual interviews, or will he acknowledge how rough so much of "Agents of SHIELD" season 1 was before "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" finally gave the show direction?
Based on traditional ratings alone, NBC's "Hannibal" is among the least-watched shows on the traditional broadcast networks. But its reputation among the sorts of fans who come to Comic-Con has grown with each passing year. Two summers ago, it was just one half of a Bryan Fuller-focused panel (which also focused on his attempt to reboot "The Munsters" as "Mockingbird Lane") in a very small room. Last summer, it moved to a slightly bigger room to accommodate Fuller and Hugh Dancy. This year, even without Dancy or Mads Mikkelsen or Laurence Fishburne, "Hannibal" has graduated to the big time, taking over the Convention Center's mammoth Ballroom 20 for a panel subtitled "Embrace the Madness," featuring Fuller, director David Slade, writer/producer Steven Lightfoot, longtime Hannibal Lecter producer Martha DeLaurentiis, and supporting players Caroline Dhavernas, Scott Thompson and Aaron Abrams, and moderated by Jonathan Ross.