Bryan Fuller‘s re-imagining of The Munsters may not have a series pick up yet, but the Mockingbird Lane producer is feeling optimistic – even after his last three shows – Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies – all were canceled after very short runs.
“[NBC is] clearly invested in this show, and they’re invested in doing it in a spectacular fashion,” he said at a Comic-Con panel for Mockingbird and the upcoming NBC drama Hannibal. Fuller (far right in the photo above) pointed to the high production level on the Munsters reboot, four minutes of which screened for the lucky audience members, and additional script orders as proof of the network’s support.
Fuller also credited his Pushing Daisies production and costume designers, who have come on board the project, with the show’s look; he described it as if “Hitchcock was directing a Harry Potter film.”
Speaking of the late ABC series, it may rise from the dead! “There is another Pushing Daisies project that is not a comic and that is not a miniseries that we’re working on,” said Fuller cryptically.
Read on for more highlights from the discussion, including some surprising culinary tips from Hannibal.
AT HOME ON THE LANE | A sizzle reel of footage from the Mockingbird Lane pilot, which finished shooting three days before the panel, revealed that the series has the auteur’s stamp all over it. Darkly humorous and visually distinctive, the sneak peek featured a scene of a wolfed-out Eddie terrorizing his Boy Scout friends on a camping trip, clever nods to the original series and Eddie Izzard as Grandpa chomping into a lion. Special effects to be added will also allow Lily’s outfit to form out of spiders and for Grandpa to manifest out of rats. “It is a darker version of Pushing Daisies,” said Fuller.
ORIGIN STORY | The idea for Mockingbird Lane was born after monster drawings at a Tim Burton exhibit in New York City made Fuller think, “Why don’t we have a monster family on TV?” He added: “This is about embracing the freak of your family and being proud,” he said.
FEARLESS MAN | “I’m not afraid of reboots or reimaginations. I’m afraid of bad ones,” replied Fuller when asked about tackling two projects based on previously created source material. “It’s a tricky game for sure,” he said, adding that it can work “if you go on in and try to do something different and not just recreate.”
HONORING THE PAST | There will be plenty of special treats in Mockingbird Lane, including homages to classic Universal monsters, made easier by the fact that the show shoots on the Universal lot where many of the old sets still stand. For instance, Grandpa’s dungeon is on the same stage as the original Phantom of the Opera set. Fuller also plans to explore the mythology of how the family came to the infamous address and introduce family pet Spot (a live-action, dragon-like version – “It’s going to be quite fantastic”) and the DRAG-U-LA automobile (“We want to see them build [it]”).
HANNIBAL | Fuller described the Hannibal pilot – directed by David Slade (Awake pilot, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) – as an “elegant horror movie” that will explore the brief pages of backstory about a case that damaged Will Graham in the novels. (Timeline-wise, Red Dragon would be Season 4, said the EP.) “Season 1 is the bromance [between Graham and Hannibal], and Season 2 is the horrible breakup,” he explained.
BON APPÉTIT | Fuller revealed that famed chef José Andrés is the show’s cannibal culinary consultant, offering up “suggestions for how to cook people” and what body parts can be consumed (lungs: not so yummy). Stranger still: The tips will be released online after the episodes! So just got how gross and meaty will NBC let the show get? “They have been very supportive,” said Fuller, adding that “there’s no way to sugarcoat it” when your show is called Hannibal.