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Mike Snyder of TV Guide and The Munsters star Butch Patrick introduced David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) and Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me), known by a great many fans to deliver a massive helping of the delightfully macabre. To their delight, Fuller had a great deal to say about Mockingbird Lane — his reinterpretation of the beloved 1964 television series The Munsters — as well as Hannibal, the upcoming NBC thriller featuring author Thomas Harris’ characters from Silence of the Lambs.
Having begun as a writer on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, Fuller expressed his joy at the opportunity to adapt The Munsters, a cherished childhood TV show, for modern audiences. Mockingbird Lane, named after the Munsters’ street of residence, was initially approached with skepticism by Universal Studios. Fuller understood Universal’s fear concerning a “reboot” of the classic show, but his levelheaded attitude towards the adaptation won over the studio. “I’m not afraid of reboots or reimaginations,” he said with an awkward and charming expression of humor, “just the bad ones.”
After showing a short clip of the Mockingbird Lane pilot directed by Bryan Singer, Fuller addressed the audience’s overjoyed but uneasy laughter at a monster comically and violently attacking children. “Not that violence against children is funny, but in this context I think it is,” he said. The entire clip was a catalyst for pleasant reactions from the panel-goers, and Fuller followed up with his impressions on the appeal of the adaptation. “The show is about embracing the freak of your family and being proud,” Fuller said.
Since the show films on the Universal lot, many old sets from classic films have easily been integrated. Viewers can likely expect appearances from classic horror icons like The Invisible Man and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. In fact, shooting at this specific studio has brought Fuller very close to his vision of a project that looks and feels as though “Hitchcock directed a Harry Potter film.”
Snyder then introduced Martha De Laurentiis, Executive Producer of Hannibal. “Hannibal Lecter was voted the number one villain on aol.com,” De Laurentiis said, noting this was one of the main reasons for doing a show about Lecter and Red Dragon protagonist Will Graham. “Television nowadays is the most fascinating way to tell a character and tell a story,” Fuller said. “I was really excited about the Will Graham character.”
Fuller has plotted seven seasons of the show, with season four loosely adapting Red Dragon. Fuller will write the show, while David Slade directs the pilot. Heroes producer Jesse Alexander is attached to executive produce. In addition to an elite production crew, a culinary expert was brought on as a consultant to explain how best to hypothetically “prepare” a cannibalistic dish. De Laurentiis brought forth a fit of light laughter and cheering from the crowd when she mentioned moving the show to foreign markets. “We will be able to do even more gruesome things,” she said.
Fans came forth with some excellent questions, many of them pertaining to Fuller’s cancelled television series Pushing Daisies. Although a comic book has been in the works for some time, DC Comics has yet to publish the series or release the rights to the property. “Have you ever thought of taking it to Image?” one fan asked. Fuller humorously replied, “I would love to take it to any publisher that will publish it.” In the mean time, he encouraged fans of Pushing Daisies to DC executives until they decide to do something with it.
Fans of Fuller’s television work and horror connoisseurs of all varieties have a lot to look forward to on television. Whether it’s dark and gritty or whimsical with a touch of the macabre, Fuller has viewers completely covered.