The panel started with executive producers Adam Horowitz, Eddy Kitsis, David Goodman, returning cast members Colin O’Donoghue, Lana Parrilla, and Robert Carlyle. OUAT Superfan, Yvette Nicole Brown moderated the panel.
Season six ended on a happy note as far as the story goes. Fans were sad to see six cast members depart from their beloved fairy tale characters. Jennifer Morrison announced her departure a week before the season finale.
A few days later, producers announced the departure of Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jared Gilmore, Emilie de Ravin, and Rebecca Mader from the show.
Parrilla, O’Donoghue and Carlyle are the only returning series regulars and will continue to portray their original characters.
Kitsis assured the fans that they are not erasing the past 6 seasons. The plan was always to end that storyline at season 6 and then start with a new story that stems from the previous one. This gives them the opportunity to introduce new characters and new stories.
Horowitz calls it a ‘new chapter’ saying it’s less of a reboot and a better way to pay homage to the series original premise.
Fans got to see the first two scenes of season seven. Gilmore as young Henry Mills opened the first scene with Parrilla’s Regina. Henry leaves home after high school to find new fairy tales in different realms. He is trying to find his own story.
Then the scene jumps years ahead to another realm where an older Henry, played by Andrew J. West crashes into Cinderella’s horse drawn carriage.
Horowitz confirmed that the viewers have not seen the last of the characters who exited last season. Horowitz stated, “As the show evolves and we’re telling some of these new stories and chapters, it’s out hope that we’ll be seeing a lot of them pop up from time to time. This isn’t the end.”
Kitsis added, “Henry is on a new adventure and wants to visit other Storybrooks with different stories and he falls in love with Cinderella. He gets into trouble and calls out for help. His family [Regina, Hook, and Gold] come to his rescue. It’s these three and Henry on an epic adventure and that’s the next chapter of Once Upon a Time.”
Three of the new cast members were on hand at the panel including West. Brown teased that she was keeping an eye on West and the audience yell to him to not eat anyone. West was previously seen on The Walking Dead as a Terminus cannibal.
— Once Upon A Time (@OnceABC) July 22, 2017
Dania Ramirez and Gabrielle Anwar were also in attendance. Ramirez will play a new version of Cinderella. Anwar will portray the wicked step-mother Lady Tremaine.
Other new cast members were announced a few weeks ago including Adalaide Kane, Mekia Cox and Rosie Reynolds. The producers reveal that Cox will bring to life Disney princess Tiana from The Princess and The Frog. Reynolds will be a new version of Alice from Alice in Wonderland. And Kane will be Drizella, one of Cinderella’s evil step sisters.
The audience got a chance to ask the cast some questions. One fans asked when OUaT would have a prominent LGBTQ storyline and the producers confirmed that they will be exploring those this year.
Kitsis confirmed that there will be new versions of old characters, but not the Evil Queen, Hook, or Rumpelstiltskin.
O’Donoghue was ask if Emma and Hook had any children. He stated that seems like it would the natural progression of their relationship, but did not confirm or deny if there are any little Hooks running Storybrook.
The panel ended with a surprise trailer! Check it this exclusive first look at Once Upon a Time season 7!
Once Upon a Time returns to ABC, Fridays this fall on October 6.
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