Exclusive: Once Upon a Time Welcomes Back Giancarlo Esposito -- But as Which Character?

Once Upon a Time Giancarlo Esposito ReturnsGiancarlo Esposito will set down Revolution baddie Tom Neville’s sword long enough to pay a return visit to Once Upon a Time this fall, TVLine has learned.

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Scoop on Regina’s Love Life, and More

Esposito will appear in one of Season 3’s first episodes, though mum’s the word on which of his alter egos he will be playing — Storybrooke newspaper man Sidney Glass, the Evil Queen’s royally smitten Magic Mirror, or even the Genie of Agrabah.

RELATED | Once Upon a Time EP: Storybrooke Won’t Be Forgotten! (Plus: A Hook-Up You Won’t See)

Esposito recurred during Once‘s freshman season, upon completing his heralded run on Breaking Bad. When last seen, Sidney had been imprisoned by Regina, having botched the framing of Snow White for Kathryn’s “murder.”

The actor currently stars on NBC’s Revolution, and twice this past TV season guested on Community.

Once Upon a Time Season 3 premieres… sometimes this fall.

Want more scoop on Once, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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  1. sarah says:

    Thank god he’s returning. Maybe they can get back to the good once we love. Last seadon wasn’t very good

  2. Dominique says:

    yes, finally!! His story was left unfinished, especially since we saw Jefferson passing Sydney’s cell during the season 1 finale! I really hope we’ll see Sidney, learn what has become of him. Hopefully he’ll be more than just Regina’s lapdog this time.

  3. THE GENIE OF THE LAMP!!! Aladdin and Jasmine need to show up soon! They are my favorite Disney characters.

    • Rachel says:

      yes and jafar

    • JCK says:

      ITA Especially if they cast Sendhil Ramamurthy as Aladdin.

    • ben says:

      Michael, exactly my thought – that instead of his story in Storybrooke being expanded on (which seems unlikely unless he dies, but I guess is possible) he might be appearing in Aladdin flashbacks, which are well overdue.

      • Mary says:

        I hope not. I don’t want them to be bringing in that many new characters while they’re dealing with Neverland. We’ll already have Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, and others from Neverland being introduced and a hinted possibility of Ariel (which I also hope not yet).

        They need to quit taking away from the core characters so much (unless it’s Regina as she got a lot of coverage in the second season).

        • Ben says:

          The reality is that from day one this show has had flashbacks dealing with characters backstories in a one-off way – our core characters intersecting with their paths – and this isn’t what the problem was with season 2, it was how much time was taken up by new characters in the present.

          Frankly, though, I didn’t really have a huge problem with Mulan and Aurora or Greg and Tamara – the middle of the season with Cora was a complete drag though. And Hook was in the same boat but most people liked him (so was August when he showed up).

          • Mary says:

            Oh I didn’t have a problem with Mulan and Aurora. Snow and Emma needed someone to help them get back home. And once Snow and Emma went back to Storybrooke we didn’t keep seeing Mulan and Aurora, except for Mulan in a Belle flashback and in the season finale.

            I didn’t mind the idea of outsiders finding their way into Storybrooke either, but I was disappointed with how it was handled. And Hook wasn’t really developed enough. He split his time between going on and on about wanting revenge against Rumple and being kicked around by others. Still some of the stuff they did in the second half of the season kept Red from having more of a story line after they had bumped Meghan Ory to regular. And now she’s off on another series, so we will see even less of her.

  4. Lysh says:

    Bless! I’ve missed his character. Something the show lacked last season was explaining where all of these beloved characters from s1 went to, like we were to assume they were just off being happy somewhere in post-curse Storybrooke. Hopefully they can do some explaining in season three. Maybe even get Cinderella back.

    • Rachel says:

      and we still have yet to see the first sleeping beauty.

      • Abby says:

        This! I hope the writers address this blunder, saying Maleficent was bested by Sleeping Beauty in flashbacks from season one, only to have Sleeping Beauty wake up at the beginning of season 2.

        • Amelia says:

          Wasn’t a blunder actually. Aurora and Phillip address in that same conversation that Maleficent first cursed her mother- assumably the original Sleeping Beauty and the one that had bested her. Looks like Maleficent went back and cursed her daughter also.

  5. K says:

    I’m glad he’ll be back and hopefully it means Sidney will be out of that hellhole of a hospital (can Belle free him?), but I also hope they’ll wrap up his storyline. Revolution may be an even worse show than OUAT, but Neville is a much better character and use of GE’s talents than poor old Sidney.

  6. A says:

    I feel like he’ll likely be back as Sidney. I don’t really see any point in him returning as the mirror or the genie. I hope we get to see other S1 characters who seemingly fell off the face of the earth come S2. I don’t expect it but you never know.

  7. david says:

    LOL guess hes not returning to breaking bad ;)

  8. Gus Fring from Breaking Bad, Tom Neville from Revolution. This guy is one of the busiest actors when he appears on one TV series after another.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the Aladdin universe but not while they are in the process of introducing Neverland- I feel that would be too much at once. He could easily be in an evil queen flashback. It would also make sense to use him in Storybrooke since there are fewer characters there now.

  10. Joanna Boese says:

    I don’t think he’s THE Genie, though…the TV animation addressed there’s more than him around.

  11. BelleRumpleFan says:

    I’m so excited he’s back!

  12. Kristina says:

    Yay! Anytime he pops up it’s a good thing :)

  13. aeromel78 says:

    I don’t know if any of you watch “The Haunting of. . .” on Bio but there was an episode with him last week that was really good. He spoke about having some hard times financially a few years back and was very emotional. I’m glad to see him getting so much work. He seems like a good guy.

  14. Me says:

    People stop complaining about new characters coming in!!! I love that my favorite fairy tale charters are coming to life!!! :) I mean its a show about a far away kingdom with all of the fantasy characters :)

  15. Norma says:

    I have never watched Breaking Bad, so I got introduced to this fine actor in Once & Revolution. He is great and I wish him well.