Eddy Kitsis & Adam Horowitz’s ‘Once Upon A Time’ Spinoff Set In Wonderland Takes Shape, Zack Estrin & Jane Espenson Join
By NELLIE ANDREEVA
Once Upon A Time creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are bringing in top-notch writer-producers to help them mount a proposed Once spinoff for ABC and ABC Studios. The studio is closing overall deals with Prison Break alum Zack Estrin and Once consulting producer Jane Espenson that would cover their services on the spinoff. Details about the spinoff are being kept under wraps but I have learned that it takes place in Wonderland. While the original idea was to use Once‘s character of Mad Hatter to transition to the new world, the plan was dropped in part because Sebastian Stan, who has played the part on Once, could not commit to the spinoff and the role had to be recast, a prospect that didn’t sit well with fans. I hear the story will now be told through the point of of view of Alice, who has not appeared on Once, surrounded by several new characters. The spinoff takes place in a post-curse world, though, like on Once, there will be flashbacks, so we could potentially see familiar faces, including Barbara Hershey’s recently departed Cora, who was the Queen Of Hearts in Once‘s Wonderland.
I hear the idea is to air the spinoff in 13-episode season arcs with beginning, middle and end, similar to FX’s American Horror Story, possibly bridging the fall and spring portions of Once. Kitsis and Horowitz handpicked Estrin and Espenson to help them with the spinoff after the two pitched the idea to ABC topper Paul Lee and got thumbs-up. Kitsis and Horowitz are currently writing a 15-20 page, four-scene presentation with input from Estrin and Espenson. Production is slated to begin next month, immediately following the season wrap of Once. If the project goes to series, Estrin is expected to run it with Kitsis and Horowitz, while Espenson, who has been a key member of Once’s writing staff since after the pilot, will likely return to the flagship drama, which Kitsis and Horowitz will continue to run.
For WME-repped Estrin this marks the second consecutive overall deal at ABC Studios. Under the most recent one he served as showrunner on ABC’s The River and Zero Hour. Battlestar Galactica alumna Espenson is with CAA. Once is one of ABC’s top series and a big DVR performer. Season to date, the fairytale drama has averaged 2.98 rating among adults 18-49 in Live+Same Day and 4.34 in Live+7, a 43% jump.
It's for the best to avoid recasting Jefferson. At least this way, they can hope for the occasional Stan guest appearance, instead of bringing in someone new and effectively erasing that possibility, and pissing people off in the process.According to a casting breakdown released last week, they are Amahl, described as exotic, soulful and optimistic; and The Knave, a sardonic adventurer, a man of action, a loner and a heart-breaker.
Second answer's wording seems pretty clear to me.Now that Mr. Gold is alive and well on Once Upon a Time, what will happen to the relationship between him and Neal? –Margena
“Gold, he’s such a flawed character, so he’s trying to do the right thing but he doesn’t really know how,” says Robert Carlyle. Meaning, above and beyond that wacky offer to turn Neal into a teenager again, “He doesn’t know how to take that further, so it’s going to take a while to get any kind of resolution on that. But in Episode 21 or 22, something happens which changes [their relationship] forever.” For the better…? “Maybe,” Carlyle teases.
Once Upon a Time fans were given a hint about a connection between Neal and Hook in Neverland. Do you have any scoop about what their history might be? –Stef
For now I will just say that one rumor making rounds as of late absolutely will not pan out.