Out TV writer and producer Bryan Fuller has been behind some of our favorite cult hits from the last 10 years, including Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies. But he’s found real success with Hannibal on NBC, which will debut its third season in 2015. We started to pay attention in Season 2, when Bryan brought in Margot Verger, a lesbian character from the book series the show is based on (by Thomas Harris) for five episodes. Margot is expertly played by Katharine Isabelle, who sees Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) to try and get over the abuse she’s received from her twin brother Mason (Michael Pitt).
“I really like the character in the book as well as I was troubled by the character in the book,” Bryan told us exclusively at an NBC party at Comic-Con. “Because in the book she was somebody who was habitually raped since she was a toddler, essentially, by her brother. And then later sort of abused her body with steroids and destroyed her reproductive organs and it felt, to me, like the wrong message for a character — that if you’re molested as a child, you’re going to become a lesbian. And so I took the sexual angle out of their relationship because I thought that was a bad message. I’m sure that scenario has happened but the bulk of lesbians that I know are not lesbians because they were molested; they’re lesbians because they’re genetically pre-dispositioned to being lesbians.”
Bryan said he wanted Margot’s story to be less about her being a victim.
“I didn’t want her victimization to be victimhood, if that makes sense,” he said. “I wanted her to be like, ‘Oh no–I’m going to get him.’ And she still wants to get him. And things that happened in the book, I’m very excited to see because Mason and Margot have similar fates to the characters in the book. ”
Bryan said we only saw half of Margot’s story in Season 2 and that Season 3 will tell the other half from the original Red Dragon. She does have a love interest that has already been cast, but Bryan would not divulge any names or further details.
“I think we will definitely be seeing other sides of her and we’ve been talking a lot about a paradigm for a big episode for her and we’re talking a lot about—we’re inspired a lot by Bound,” Bryan said, referencing the famous lesbian mob movie from 1996. “By lesbians conspiring!”
Bryan also acknowledged a controversial decision he made in Season 2, which was having Margot sleep with the show’s lead Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) in episode 10.
“For me that was all about the strategy for her, and I thought, ’0K she’s doing what she has to do,’” Bryan said. “And there was a lot of response online about that betrayed the character and I really felt that it was true to the character in this incarnation because she would do what it takes. And it wasn’t an act of love or attraction; it was, ‘I’m putting a bullet in the chamber.’”
Although Bryan said the season will not follow the book “faithfully,” it could be that Margot is looking to have a baby with a partner we have yet to meet, named Judy in the novel. However, the book also had her trying to get her brother’s sperm for a baby so who knows what will happen. (BTW, TV writers, we do know there are ways to get sperm other than tricking dudes.)
Hannibal Season 2 will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray September 16 so get caught up if you want to tune in for Season 3 when it returns next year.