The showrunner for Hannibal opened up about the surprising queer love story between the show’s main characters.

Back in 2013, the prequel TV series for the 1991 film Silence Of The Lambs debuted to critical acclaim.

The show followed FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and his complicated relationship with the titular cannibalistic killer (Mads Mikkelsen).

Throughout its three-season run, fans theorised that the two characters were in love with one another due to their intense chemistry.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the show’s executive producer Bryan Fuller gave insight into Will and Hannibal’s unexpected love story.

“It started out as kind of a fascination with how straight guys interact with each other in a romantic way that is not sexual,” he revealed.

“Initially, I didn’t want to misrepresent Thomas Harris’ characters because they clearly have heterosexual leanings in the source material, but as with the kids these days, that sexuality became much more fluid over the course of the series.”

The show’s fans weren’t the only ones to recognise the undeniable chemistry between Dancy and Mikkelsen’s characters.

Fuller went on to say that due to the their mesmerising connection, he was inspired to add queer elements to Will and Hannibal’s relationship.

“They really helped kind of leach that romance out of the page into something that was actionable that became writing dialogue that was, ‘Is Hannibal in love with me?’ and ‘Do you ache for him?'” he said. “I was just following the lead of the actors, as opposed to having a gay agenda.”

Even the show’s writing staff were also on board with a queer love story.

When writing the scripts for season three, Fuller said series writer Don Mancini “squealed with glee” when he read the famous “is Hannibal in love with me” line.

“Don immediately called and was squealing with glee that it had finally happened. It was finally in text and it was no longer in the realm of metaphor or suggestion,” he said.

Will and Hannibal’s love story was explored further throughout season three, leading to the two passionately embracing before falling off a cliff in the series finale.

Even though Fuller is content with the emotional scene, he does regret not adding a kiss between the two complex characters.

“There were several takes and there was never any actual lip-locking. But there was a lingering [in one take] where Mads’s lips parted, hovering over Will’s mouth in a way that went on… For a while. When I was watching dailies, it seemed like an eternity,” he revealed.

He also said at the time, their passionate embrace and intense eye contact felt “more authentic and more romantic” than any kiss could portray.

“But if I had to do it again, I might suggest to kiss and see how it played,” he added.

Fuller’s comments come a year after Mikkelsen told Vulture he played with the idea of Hannibal kissing Will.

“We actually did a couple of takes of the very last scene where we were looking at each other, and it was a little too obvious — it was almost a kiss,” he told the publication.

“Me and Hugh were like, ‘Why not? We have a couple of takes. Let’s do one. It might be cool.””

You can watch the complete Hannibal series on Amazon Prime.