Creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz Talk ONCE UPON A TIME Season 1 Finale, Animated Series TRON: UPRISING, and Involvement with TRON 3

     May 13, 2012

once upon a time edward kitsis adam horowitz

In “A Land Without Magic,” the Season 1 finale of the ABC drama series Once Upon A Time, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Regina (Lana Parrilla) must team up together in order to find a way to save Henry’s (Jared Gilmore) life. Meanwhile, in fairytale land, Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) attempts to escape from the Evil Queen’s (Parrilla) clutches to reunite with a fallen Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin). With everything at stake, everyone’s happily-ever-after is in jeopardy.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, show creators/executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz talked about what’s to come for the finale and the returning guest stars (including Jamie Dornan as The Huntsman and Emilie de Ravin as Belle), the challenging of developing two parallel storylines in two different worlds, how their experience on Lost helped them prepare for a show like this, how they’ve been planting the seeds for Season 2 for some time now, and what fans can expect from the bonus features on the Blu-ray release on August 28th. They also talked about their animated Disney XD series Tron: Uprising, and said that they’ll still be co-producers whenever Tron 3 (which they’ve seen the first draft of) happens. Check out what they had to say after the jump:

Collider: What can you say to tease what’s to come for the Season 1 finale and the guest stars that you have returning?

Once Upon A Time Adam HorowitzADAM HOROWITZ: I think we can say that the stories that we started to tell in the pilot this season, reach a boiling point in the finale, and we’re really excited to show the audience where we’re going. Our goal with this finale is to be both deeply satisfying and deeply surprising, and we can’t wait to see what the audience thinks. As for the guest stars in it, we’re really, really thrilled to have a lot of old friends come back in, hopefully, new and exciting ways.

Were you surprised about how much fans of the show wanted to see The Huntsman (Jamie Dornan) come back and have been so excited about him returning for the finale?

HOROWITZ: No, we weren’t ‘cause Jamie is awesome!

EDWARD KITSIS: Of course, when he died and we saw the reaction, it was gratifying, in the way that we created a character that people really loved. To be totally honest, I don’t think there are any bigger Huntsman fans than the two of us, so we’re just as excited.

As this season progressed, did it get easier or more challenging to develop these two parallel storylines in two different worlds?

HOROWITZ: It’s never easy. It’s always challenging. As a world and a mythology grows and gets revealed more and more, it becomes trickier and trickier, but hopefully also more rewarding.

KITSIS: It’s very difficult. Along the way of a new season, you find things that make you go, “This works better on our show than other things.” It’s been an interesting journey.

Do you feel like the past experience that you had on a big ensemble show like Lost prepared you for this, or was it more than you ever really could have prepared for?

Once Upon A Time jennifer morrisonKITSIS: It’s funny because we had this idea pre-Lost and it wasn’t until we got to Lost that we slowly started to realize how we wanted to tell this show. It definitely influenced us in our writing, in a really big way. I don’t think this show would be what it is today, if it weren’t for that experience. We were lucky, in the beginning, to have Damon Lindelof as a godfather, really helping us realize our vision. Our redline to him has been invaluable.

With something like this, did you start thinking ahead to Season 2, even though you didn’t know whether you would get another season, so that you could start weaving in those story possibilities?

HOROWITZ: Sure. If you want to be able to have a Season 2, you need to find the way to set up your story so you can get there, and you hope that you have an audience that wants it and allows that to happen.

KITSIS: You plant the seeds. Whether they get to grow or not, you still have to plant them. Somewhere around Christmas, we started to say, “Okay, well, they picked us up for a full season. Provided that the second half of the season does well, we should start thinking about Season 2.” You just start dropping in little things. You have to because you’re telling one large story. What you want is for the audience to go back and say, “Oh, okay, they did set it up.” If people go back and watch Season 1 on DVD this summer, they’ll see that a lot of the stuff we did this year was set up in episodes way before. We showed the puppets that turned out to be Geppetto’s mom and dad, a couple weeks before we even told that story.Once Upon A Time Edward Kitsis

With Season 1 coming out on Blu-ray on August 28th, do you have any particular favorites on it, as far as the bonus features, deleted scenes and bloopers?

KITSIS: The blooper reel is fun. There’s a really fun building of a character, where you get to see us create Belle and work with Emilie de Ravin, and you get to see a story meeting with us and Emilie that we’re excited about. People will get to see some of the process of how a costume goes from Eduardo Castro’s sketch to being on Ginnifer [Goodwin] for the wedding, and how we pull out some of these effects. That’s fun. And, there’s some good commentary.

Is it nice to give the viewers a chance to see just how much goes into making a show like this?

KITSIS: For our first show, we basically did everything you weren’t supposed to do. We have dogs and children and wolves and fairies. I remember the day we were on the set for Episode 7, when they brought the wolf on, and we were like, “That’s a real wolf! Yes, I know he says it’s trained, but it’s still a wild wolf and it could attack us at any moment.” And, Jamie had to get right up in its face.

What are you most excited about exploring with the Tron: Uprising animated series, that couldn’t be done with live-action?

HOROWITZ: In writing Tron: Legacy, we had two hours to tell a story and a world that was so exciting and rich to explore. Tron: Uprising has been an amazing opportunity to explore the time between Legacy, when we see Clu overthrow Flynn and Sam’s arrival at the beginning, and take that time period and really go out into the Grid and see what happens.

tron-uprising-imageKITSIS: When we wrote the movie, you would see a scene where they would pass through other sectors, and we always wanted to explore one of those sectors. So, for us, Tron: Uprising really explores the Grid, what it means to be a Program, what it means to be a Program going from living under Flynn to living under Klu, and we really get to dig deep into the world. This will allow us to really explore it in a deeper way. Not deeper than the movie, but we really get to explore the little sections of the Grid that we didn’t have time to show you.

If it happens, will you still be able to be involved with Tron 3, in some capacity?

KITSIS: Yes. We were actually beginning to write the sequel, and then Once Upon A Time happened and we had to step off. Adam and I have been made co-producers of it, and Disney hired a great writer, Dave DiGilio. We’ve seen the first draft and we’re very excited.

The Season 1 finale of Once Upon A Time airs on Sunday, May 13th. You can learn more about the show at

Once Upon A Time cast & creators