Comic-Con: ONCE UPON A TIME Panel Recap Featuring Cast and Creators Talking Season 3, Neverland, New Additions, Relationships and Surprising Characters

     July 22, 2013


If you’re interested in ABC’s new fantasy drama series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, it’s a safe bet that you’d also enjoy the original show, Once Upon a Time.  Creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz took the stage along with the show’s cast to talk about the upcoming third season, answer questions about their character relationships over the first two seasons and to participate in a fan Q&A.  They even added in a fun little corporate sponsorship message titled “Good Morning Storybrooke” which has become part of the fun of their panel here at Comic-Con.  They also teased a new character who is sure to make a splash in the new season.  Hit the jump for my recap.

once-upon-a-time-castThe panel kicked off with a combination recap of season two and preview of season three, which features a princess, pirate, queen, wizard, and a knight teaming up to search for Neverland.  We hear someone asks, “Who are we up against?” To which the answer is, “Someone we should all fear.”

Joining the panel were creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, along with cast members Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White), Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan),  Lana Parrilla (Evil Queen), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming), Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold, in his first appearance at Comic-Con), Emilie de Ravin (Belle), Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook, in his first appearance at Comic-Con), Michael Raymond James (Baelfire in his first appearance at Comic-Con – he’s also wearing an Angry Birds hat because he lost a bet with Dallas.)

Cast commentary on their time spent on the pirate ship:

  • It’s been wet, it’s been bruise inducing (O’Donoghue loves it)

Kitsis/Horowitz on the season’s new format:

  • The new season will feature 11 uninterrupted episodes in a row, with the same schedule occurring in the spring

Dallas (on Twins):

  • Separated at a young age and grew up very differently; one is no longer with us, Charming is on his own journey growing and going forward


  • After the death of her mother, Snow went to the opposite end of a pendulum swing and now must rediscover who she is.

Parrilla (On forgiveness of the Evil Queen):

  • “I really don’t think she’s that bad.”
  • She recounts how many people her character has killed: “In the 100s”
  • Favorite kill “is coming up in season 3.”

once-upon-a-time-robert-carlyleSeason 3

  • Kitsis/Horowitz struggled to get the rights to Neverland
  • Kitsis/Horowitz are excited about meeting Peter Pan and seeing Neverland, which is where they’re headed
  • Peter Pan “has a complicated motivation that’s a little different than we’ve seen before…he might be frightening to some people”
  • They are two weeks into filming
  • Kitsis/Horowitz on the look of Neverland: Fans will be seeing a lot of Neverland, different areas, some that you remember from the book with their own spin; fantastical island where anything can happen as the place imagination comes from; “awfully disappointed” if Tinkerbell didn’t appear – Tink has a surprising connection to someone on the panel
  • O’Donoghue (on Hook): talked about a different spin on Hook with Kitsis/Horowitz; a little bit of Princess Bride in his character.
  • Morrison: Colin is a gentleman in real life and a “spicy gentleman” in his leather jacket.
  • Green screen challenges: fire, dragons, biting a giant’s finger – Morrison hung from a big green innertube which she had to bite, and ended up bruising her lip; also had to climb a giant vine – built the first 40 feet which they actually climbed; O’Donoghue climbed one-handed with his hook, which isn’t designed to bear his weight
  • On Jorge Garcia (who played Anton/the giant) – Kitsis/Horowitz: possible reappearance of Garcia at some point but probably not in Neverland
  • A fun “corporate sponsorship” bit: “Good Morning Storybrooke” with Paul Scheer and Yvette Nicole Brown – Other segments and commercials included Bedside Manner w/ Dr. Whale (David Anders), Wolf Watch, Granny’s Diner, Mr. Gold’s Pawn Shop
  • Kitsis/Horowitz: Plots of Storybrooke/Neverland will influence each other; Mr. Gold off to save Henry and Gold is on a suicide mission to head to Neverland alone to find/save him

once-upon-a-time-colin-odonoghueAudience Q&A:

Are we being led to the Swan Queen?

  • Kitsis/Horowitz: Referring to “Swan Queen” the parent of Emma and Regina is “just writing for two strong women who both love Henry.”

Can Rumpelstiltskin travel to different dimensions on his own?

  • Kitsis/Horowitz: He needs the Mad Hatter (needs a portal), magic beans, looking glass, etc

Is it possible the Charmings will ever break up?

  • Kitsis/Horowitz: That would be the loss of all hope.

What mermaid was Regina so interested about?

  • Kitsis/Horowitz: Great question! Anything could happen in Neverland so watch season 3!

Panel finished with a teaser for Disney’s Ariel appearing on the show: steals a fork/dinglehopper from a dwarf and the crowd goes crazy.