Bryan Fuller

Hannibal Face Eating

At the PGA-sponsored Produced By Conference, Hannibal show runner Bryan Fuller offered some straightforward advice to aspiring filmmakers: make what you’d want to see. That’s something a lot of filmmakers say, and for good reason. At a panel focused on genre television, Fuller discussed how Hannibal, Pushing Daisies and his more unconventional shows aren’t the most mainstream pieces of entertainment. What’s hip and cool and now at any given moment is never what should dictate the creative process, and Fuller won’t let it. If what’s trending puts him to work, though, there’s nothing wrong with that. “Nobody wanted to do horror,” Fuller told a packed theater on the Warner Bros. lot. “I had been trying to do a horror show for the last ten years. Everyone says it doesn’t work on television, because people do not want to be exposed to that for a prolonged period of time.” That all changed when The Walking Dead came along. When AMC’s comic book adaptation became a hit, that’s when NBC and a lot of other networks came calling for horror.

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slade 2

After five episodes of NBC’s Hannibal, it’s already fair to say creator Bryan Fuller‘s horror drama is one of the most atmospheric series on television. From the mood to the show’s bold textures, each episode leaves a cinematic impression — an impact director David Slade (Hard Candy) had a hand in sculpting. According to Slade, production in the often chilly Toronto weather and fast-paced production is no cakewalk — which you can read more about in a production blog he wrote — but the final reward is worth it. Speaking with the show’s executive producer for well over an hour, it’s obvious Hannibal encapsulates the genre work Slade wants to see more of on television, and he’s proud to be a part of Fuller’s new show. The two men have different sensibilities, but Slade those two distinct outlooks fused together rather nicely. Here’s what else Slade had to say in part two of our massive discussion with him (you can read part one here), where he touched upon the show’s striking atmosphere, the long-gone music video industry, and how the film business is not one to inspire noble actions:

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D

Acclaimed directors often drop in to shoot the pilot for a TV series. They don’t often stick around for seconds. Director David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) is one of those rare film directors who must love brains and chianti a lot. He went from directing the pilot of Bryan Fuller‘s Hannibal to serving as an executive producer and moving on to direct more episodes, fully immersing himself in the world of Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter. The material for Hannibal is right up Slade’s alley, a director known for having a moody and atmospheric eye. It’s very much in the genre mold we’ve seen on television in recent years, the type of television Slade says he’d prefer to see more of. We recently had a long-form interview with Mr. Slade regarding Hannibal and many, many, many more subjects. As you can tell by our chat below, Mr. Slade isn’t exactly a man ever at a loss for words. Because of that, we’ve got two big interviews with the filmmaker on tap. For now, here’s what director David Slade had to say about Hannibal, how digital can’t touch film, the obsessive nature of filmmaking, and why The Man Who Fell to Earth is really an allegory for working in Los Angeles:

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BryanFuller-Fox(crop)-1

For a television show, NBC’s Hannibal goes to some fairly dark and bloody places. Sticking to the nature of Thomas Harris’s “Red Dragon,” television honcho Bryan Fuller has made a series faithful to the mood of the writing. Will Graham is no longer the smooth and reliable Edward Norton we saw in Brett Ratner’s movie, but rather a damaged man whose own genius eats away at him. Giving Harris’s fans that version of Graham was important to Fuller, as well as turning Hannibal into a “psychological and kinky” program, not another procedural with Hannibal thrown in. While many would wager some of the suspense behind Will Graham and Hannibal’s relationship is weakened by the fact we know the psychiatrist likes him some Ray Liotta brain, Fuller cautioned that isn’t the case. This isn’t the Hannibal we know from movies and pop culture. Here’s what else the man behind Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me had to say about showing the bomb under the table, carnage on network television, and more:

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munsters

Last October, Mockingbird Lane was dumped. The show aired as a Friday night Halloween special with a lack of promotion, three unfinished scenes, and a time slot set up for failure. Nonetheless, the modern update of CBS’s The Munsters raked in 5.6 million viewers that night. That’s a sizable audience for a Friday night one-off program.  Ultimately, NBC concluded not to pickup the show for a full season order, but while speaking with writer/producer Bryan Fuller, he said the network might not be done with the creepy family from 1313 Mockingbird Lane. Here’s what Fuller had to say about how the show fit his interests, where the first season would’ve gone, and why we might see more from that side of the street:

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Pushing Daisies

“Yeah, yeah, a Veronica Mars movie is getting made. That’s nice and all, but what about a Pushing Daisies movie?” is hopefully what some of you thought after Mars creator Rob Thomas reached his Kickstarter quota. Thomas’s campaign has almost raised over double its $2m required, and it’ll make even more money before its 30 days are up. You know what Rob Thomas should do with some of that spare change? Give it to Bryan Fuller to make a Pushing Daisies movie. Who wouldn’t want to do that? Based on what a Pushing Daisies movie would need to come to fruition, that million or so would come in handy. We recently spoke with the show’s creator, Bryan Fuller, about what it would take to make this film happen via crowdfunding. It’s still only a possibility, but Fuller has the makings of a plan that comes complete with some serious challenges and a directorial ally.

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Pushing Daisies

Lovingly tucked inside this thoroughly insightful interview with Rob Thomas upon the successful funding of his Warners-distributed Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign was a note about Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller getting in touch with him to ask about it. “I did get an email from Bryan Fuller earlier today saying, ‘Hey, can you jump on the phone with me at some point? I know you’re busy, but I would love to talk to you about how this thing works,’” said Thomas.  “And I know it was specifically for Pushing Daisies.” The show featuring Lee Pace as a pie-maker with the power to bring dead things back to life was, like Veronica Mars, a fan favorite that was cancelled because it brought an immense amount of joy to a medium amount of people instead of a medium amount of a joy to an immense amount of people. Obviously from the limited information in the statement, it’s unclear whether Fuller would explore bringing the show back as a series or as a film, but anything he did would need the blessing of Disney, who owns the copyright.

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Pushing Daisies

If Bryan Fuller’s Pushing Daisies were one of the March sisters from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, it would be Beth: the show was too good and gentle for this world, so it had to die a tragic, scarlet fever related death—or more precisely, it had to be unceremoniously canceled after its second season in 2009. Admirers of the ill-fated series about a pie-maker with the power to bring dead things back to life by touching them were, it seemed, being given another opportunity to have a visually stunning, linguistically nimble, Pushing Daisies-esque experience when NBC announced that Fuller would be developing a reboot of The Munsters. Did we really need this reboot? Probably not. But Fuller has a way with high-concept fantasy and with him at the helm, it actually sounded like a good idea.

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Robert Downey Jr

It’s been a long time since we’ve talked about producer Dan Jinks trying to get a live action version of Pinocchio together over at Warner Bros. So long that many people probably assumed that the project was dead. That’s not the case though. As a matter of fact, it’s probably about to get quite a bit of attention. THR is reporting that none other than Tim F’n Burton has taken an interest in the Pinocchio script, which was written by Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller. And I know what you’re thinking already…who wants to see a version of Pinocchio starring Johnny Depp as the puppet and Helena Bonham Carter as Geppetto in drag? Don’t be so quick to judge. Early reports don’t say anything about Depp or Carter at all. As a matter of fact, apparently Burton wants Robert Downey Jr. to come on board to be his Italian puppeteer. How’s that for a switch?

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