NBC’s TV show adaptation of Hannibal, created by Bryan Fuller (American Gods), was quite gruesome for a Network TV show. The most memorable example was a totem pole made out of human body parts, though there were plenty of other twisted murders that would make John Doe from SE7EN jealous and Dexter blush.
But, NBC still had its limitations. Fuller revealed to Entertainment Weekly a Season 1 murder that was so disturbing and gruesome that NBC’s vice prescient of program standards, Joanna Jamerson, couldn’t approve it.
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The scene featured Dr. Abel Gideon (Eddie Izzard), as he was being tracked by behavioral expert and serial-killer-whisperer Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). Entertainment Weekly explains the proposed murder as featuring a light switch being turned on, activating a ceiling fan attached to an incision in Gideon’s abdomen. When activated, the fan would rip out Gideon’s intestines and leave them flying around the room. Fuller explained:
“[It] essentially disembowels him by spinning the fan, all in one fell swoop. That was the only one where NBC was like, ‘I just don’t know how you’re going to do it.’ We would have pushed back if we also hadn’t been told that financially we didn’t know how we could afford to produce such a gag, because you have intestines swinging around a ceiling fan.”
As with all great scenes, this moment was inspired by Indiana Jones; more specifically, the scene in Temple of Doom where Dr. Jones wraps his whip around a baddie’s neck and the whip gets caught in a fan, strangling the man and leaving him twisting around the room.
We may still see the scene in one of Fuller’s future projects, as Fuller says, “It’ll probably end up in something.”
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SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly