Looks like Alice is about to get a little, er, Lost in Wonderland.
Naveen Andrews, whose last major stateside TV role came on ABC’s Lost, is joining the network’s Once Upon a Time spinoff as genie Jafar, it was announced during the show’s panel on Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con.
Andrews — who currently does not appear in the pilot presentation — will debut in the first episode as the “very, very, very evil villain,” shared co-creator Edward Kitsis, adding that their take on Jafar will be “very frightening.”
“I hope it will be something like you’ve never seen before,” said Andrews.
In other news from the panel…
HOME SWEET HOME | The Con crowd was treated to a preview of the pilot presentation, which kicks off with a familiar, destructive Once Upon a Time scene. Viewers will first meet two Wonderland characters in Storybrooke – and one of them has been there for a bit of time, it appears. “We will find out the Knave’s backstory leads to the Enchanted forest,” teased Kitsis after the screening.
ONE DOOR CLOSES, ANOTHER OPENS | As opposed to the mothership series, which is intended as a sprawling, multi-year story, the mission of Wonderland is “to tell within this first season, a complete, close-ended story,” said co-creator Adam Horowitz. “By the end of the Season 1, this particular story will be concluded,” and a new adventure will begin in Season 2 with the same cast. Since there’s only so many episodes to start and finish the story, Wonderland hopes to be “all killer, no filler,” added Kitsis. All of the questions you’re wondering about will be answered, including “why Alice went to Wonderland, who her father is, how she ended up in that insane asylum.”
THE PAST UNCOVERED | Like with Once, flashbacks will reveal the characters’ backstories, including that of newbie the Knave of Hearts and The Red Queen, who makes a brief but memorable first impression in the pilot presentation. Her use of magic “makes me wonder if she spent any time with the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland,” hinted Kitsis.
ALICE, ACTION HEROINE | Remember how take-action Snow White was in the Once pilot? Alice might give her a run for her money. Kitsis had this to say about a particularly buttkicking scene: “Was anything cooler than when she took that guy down with his legs and broke his neck?” Yes, this girl doesn’t need any help taking care of herself.
FAMILIAR FACES | “I would be disappointed if we didn’t see the Queen of Hearts at some point,” said Kitsis. However, her cohort the Mad Hatter might be harder to get back because of his portrayer Sebastian Stan’s busy movie schedule. Joked Kitsis: “I hear he’s going to be here [at Comic-Con] for 20 minutes, and there’s a part of me that wants to kidnap him and bring him back to Vancouver.” After a fan asked if we’ll see the March Hare or the Doormouse, Kitsis replied, “I have a feeling we might see both of those people or at least hear about them.”Follow @VladaGelman