TVLine Items: Once Upon a Time Spin-Off Update, James Woods Joins Ray Donovan and More!

Once Upon a Time SpinoffThings are getting curiouser and curiouser with the Once Upon a Time spin-off.

Once consulting producer Jane Espenson and Prison Break alum Zack Estrin, as part of a new overall deal with ABC Studios, have boarded the prospective offshoot, which will be set in Wonderland, our sister site Deadline reports. The project is envisioned as an American Horror Story-style 13-episode standalone that would ostensibly bridge the original series’ winter hiatus.

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Whereas last month’s rumors had the Mad Hatter (played to date by Sebastian Stan) as frontman for the series, new intel says that looking glass lass Alice will be the fulcrum. That role, as well as a loner adventurer dubbed The Knave and a soulful character named Amahl, are in the process of being cast, with an eye on shooting a four-scene “presentation” once Once wraps production on its sophomore run.

Got Alice casting ideas (including but not limited to Laura Vandervoort)? Share ’em in Comments!

Ready for more of today’s TV dish? Well…

• Veteran actor James Woods has joined the cast of Showtime’s new drama Ray Donovan. The series centers on a professional fixer (played by Liev Schreiber) and the chain of events his father’s (Jon Voight) recent release from prison sets off. Woods plays Patrick “Sully” Sullivan, a man with complicated ties to the Donovan family.

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• Sherlock actor Mark Gatiss took to Twitter recently to announce the title of the Brit hit’s Season 3 premiere — and it’s a doozy!

• Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin will make a cameo in the HBO drama’s upcoming third season, bowing March 31, Deadline reports. Details on who — or what — the scribe will be playing are being kept under wraps.

Cedric the Entertainer has been named host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, replacing departing emcee Meredith Vieira. The funnyman is slated to make his debut in the syndicated game show’s Season 12 premiere this fall.

• Modern Family’s Ariel Winter has again grabbed her backpack to star in a live-action Dora the Explorer trilogy for College Humor. Check out her latest turn as the usually animated adventurer.

Which TVLine Items have you talking today?

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  1. Tom Charles says:

    For Alice: Alona Tal

    • Maris says:

      I second this!

    • Joey says:

      Isn’t Alona Tal already tapped for Powers, or has that show been completely scrapped?

      • jfritz says:

        The show hasn’t been scrapped, but the pilot they shot Was scrapped… They are still working on the show, but I think right now everyone has the option to leave.. so will see..
        Right now she is in the show CULT on the CW Network.
        If Powers ever does get scrapped I would have to give her a vote to play Alice too!

  2. Troula says:

    Mark Gatiss also happens to be tha co-creator, a writter and a producer on Sherlock.
    But, you know… Actor is ok too.

  3. Kaycee says:

    Very interesting!
    I’d love Alice to be played by Tamsin Egerton, or Dianna Agron

  4. Kat says:

    Yes to Laura Vandervoort as Alice!! This spin-off seems really cool. I can’t wait to see it come to life.

  5. ladyluck527 says:

    For Alice : Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Aly Michalka, Kayla Ewell, Shelley Hening,

    • ggny says:

      ya because Katie Cassidy is gonna leave her hit show to join this one….

      • Zach says:

        From the sounds of it, it will just be a short mini series with one season. Filming will mostly take place in the summer. I think if she really wanted to she could do both. Plus Arrow is filmed in Vancouver where I’m sure this spinoff will be filmed.

        That said, I don’t think Katie has the acting chops to play Alice. That’s just me. I find her too one dimensional.

    • Elly says:

      Please, no Michelle Trachenberg. She is wayyyy overated.

      I second Diana Agron. Odd idea; Lauren Ambrose?

  6. Daniela says:

    As long as they don’t recast Sebastian Stan, I’m open to a spin-off of ONCE.

  7. bigby_wolf says:

    Maybe they could go outside of the box and cast a young, up and coming minority actress as Alice in the Once spinoff. How old is she suppose to be in this spinoff? I would assume older and this takes place sometime after he initial visit to Wonderland? Jurnee Smollett comes to mind, although I don’t know what her schedule looks like now that she’s on True Blood.

    • dude says:

      I love me some Jurnee. Yes to her in everything. Still bummed Bad Girls didn’t take off.

    • kavyn says:

      You mean like a Kiernan Shipka? I’d be down with that idea, especially if they intend on making everyone else adults. It would really add to the show since Wonderland is meant to be a confusing place as it is. Adding in the POV of a younger girl would add an extra dimension to the show, but they would need to cast someone incredibly talented to pull it off.

    • Brooke says:

      I like that idea a lot. If they’re going to make yet another adaptation of an old story, it’d only be in their favor to think outside the box and be innovative.

  8. Mike says:

    Would only support the spin off, if Te Queen of Hearts appears as much as possible, even f only in flashbacks, which have been confirmed, I need more Cora.

  9. Azerty says:

    Hannah Murray to play Alice. She is currently in Game of Throne but I don’t know if she will appear in a lot of episodes since she was a minor character in S2 (never read the book, well, not yet).

  10. rikes says:

    Once cant even keep up with their own world and now you want to add a spinoff.

  11. Kaycee says:

    YES to Hannah Murray <3 she's perfect.

  12. Juan says:

    I think I would def like this idea because, it’s a miniseries that just bridges the series when it’s off instead of a complete new series, I hope someone good joins

  13. boriqua1ny says:

    Alison Mack. no question.

  14. Zorkel567 says:

    Interesting that the Wonderland spin off would air during Once’s winter hiatus. Makes me even more excited to see it as a miniseries, rather than a full blown series. Hopefully if it is picked up, it will be a tight, consice storyline.

  15. kirads09 says:

    Love James Woods. Do we know when Ray Donovan premiers? Been looking forward to it!

    • kirads09 says:

      Found the answer to my own question. Looks like June 30.

    • Kvivik says:

      Yay! a response that isn’t Once related.
      I HATE Liev Schreiber’s acting so was gonna pass, but I can’t miss anything that James Woods is in. Sigh. Still ticked that they cancelled Shark oh so long ago.

  16. Amanda says:

    Anyone but Dianna Agron. If this happens I want someone who can actually act.

  17. angela says:

    alice: yvonne strahovski (chuck), she is beautiful and she can kick ass!

  18. Uete says:

    Georgina Haig? Pretty please? (Yeah, damn Fringe made me love her just to kill her after 5 episodes… That’s plainly cruel)

    Also I got the impression that George R R Martin would be cameoing in the 4th, but maybe I misunderstood it, so… Great news! He’s a fun guy!

  19. if they get Laura Vandervoort, i would die of excitement ’cause Instant Star and V were MY SHOWS, Y’ALL!

  20. Tony says:

    I think Elle Fanning would make a great Alice…..

  21. rachelle says:

    Now that I know the spin-off won’t be a whole series, I’m excited about it! Also very excited about the Sherlock news. I’ve missed it sooo much!

  22. Mike says:

    I’m rooting for Anna Camp, but I’d be good with Elle Fanning.

  23. Lissette says:

    Angel Coulby to play Alice. Played a fantastic Gwen in Adventures of Merlin

  24. andy j says:

    LIinda Lavin should play Alice.

  25. Mikael says:

    Does this mean more Barbara Hershey as Queen of Hearts??? I hope so!! And don’t recast Mad Hatter. Either have Sebastian Stan play him, or don’t have the character in the show at all.

  26. Albert C says:

    Lily Rabe from American Horror Story:Asylum! She would make a great Alice.

  27. kirads09 says:

    Still unsure how I would feel about a Once “spinoff” so soon. I would be open to giving it a chance.
    My pick for Alice would be CSI’s Elisabeth Harnois. She just screams the part to me.

  28. kirads09 says:

    One twist (that seems Once-y) would be to make Alice = the Mad Hatter’s daughter – older? returned to Wonderland to find him?

  29. kirads09 says:

    “Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin will make a cameo in the HBO drama’s upcoming third season, bowing March 31, Deadline reports. Details on who — or what — the scribe will be playing are being kept under wraps.”

    That is soooo gonna rock. Can’t wait.

  30. Mark says:

    We have already met Alice according the story used in S02 E 13 Tiny in Cassidy Freeman who played Jack — she got the potion to shrink the giant by killing the Jabberwocky. Although I agree with a number of your idea’s for Alice the writers have messed this up. And Laura Vandervoort has just signed on to do Bitten. Me personally if I had to put a name into the hat though ignoring the above would be Karen Gillan or Emilie Ullerup…..

  31. Lucy says:

    Love the idea of the spin off. New faces, new talent all in a familiar format. Exciting!