Once Upon a Time fans can finally put names to some of Season 7’s mysterious new faces.
The ABC drama’s cast — returning players Lana Parrilla, Colin O’Donoghue and Robert Carlyle, along with new additions Dania Ramirez (Devious Maids), Gabrielle Anwar (Burn Notice) and Andrew J. West (The Walking Dead) and executive producers Adam Horowitz, Eddy Kitsis and David H. Goodman — assembled Saturday for its San Diego Comic-Con panel, where some major secrets were revealed about the upcoming
* First things first: Anwar will play the “new wicked stepmother, Lady Tremaine” (aka the mother of Ramirez’s “new” Cinderella).
* Mekia Cox is playing Tiana (aka the heroine of The Princess and the Frog).
* English actress Rose Reynolds is playing a new version of Alice “because no one watched the [Wonderland] spinoff,” Kitsis revealed/confessed.
* Adelaide Kane (Reign) is playing Cinderella’s stepsister Drizella, and according to Kitsis, she’s “super wicked.”
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* “We had a plan for the original show that ran six seasons — at a point, we felt like it was time for some characters to get some happy endings,” Kitsis said, adding that nothing from the past six seasons will be erased. “We are going to take a few new characters and go on a new journey, and we hope you’ll come along with us.”
* “I’d like to know more about Hook’s mother, which is something we haven’t touched upon much yet,” O’Donoghue said. (Yet, eh?)
* “You’re going to see the same versions of Rumple and Hook and the Queen,” the EPs cleared up. “Henry wants to visit other storybooks with different stories and characters. He falls in love with Cinderella, much like the romance his grandparents had. He gets into some trouble and calls out for help from his family. [Hook, Rumple and Regina] come to his rescue.”
* Regarding exited vets Jennifer Morrison (who will be back for one early epsiode), Ginny Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jared Gilmore, Emilie de Ravin and Rebecca Mader, Horowitz said, “It’s our hope that we’ll be seeing a lot of them pop up from time to time. We miss them as much as you do.”
* Fans were shown the first two scenes of Season 7: Young Henry (played by Gilmore) tells Regina he needs to leave Storybrooke in order to find out what his own story is and where he belongs (after finding hundreds of other books in the sorcerer’s mansion. Did you know there’s a French Snow White? And Italian?”) “How long will you be gone?” Regina asks, to which Henry replies, “As long as it takes.” He then hops on a motorcycle — which August taught him how to ride — before riding off through a portal to a new realm.
* We then see West’s grown-up Henry riding his motorcycle in another realm, “years later,” at which point he accidentally crashes into Cinderella’s carriage. #MeetCute
* “I didn’t know I was auditioning for Cinderella,” Ramirez said. “I loved [the show], so I was super excited.” She got into the audition room, still in her vacation clothes, to see if she had chemistry with West. (Spoiler alert: She did!)
* “I was also on vacation, and I got a call from my agent,” Anwar recalled of her involvement with the show. “I said, ‘Once Upon a Time?’ and my 13-year-old daughter went, ‘What?!’ As I’m talking to my agent, my daughter is grabbing me going, ‘Hook! Hook!’ So I said yes. I didn’t know what I was saying yes to, but I owed it to my daughter.”
* Asked about featuring a “prominent LGBTQ storyline,” Kitsis answered, “I would say that we are planning to do it this year.”
* “I think it would be interesting to see [Hook and Emma having children],” O’Donoghue said. “Hook and Emma love each other, and they’re married, so I think the next logical step would be … to have a baby.”
Your thoughts on these latest reveals? General hopes for Season 7 (premiering Friday, Oct. 6)? Drop ’em all in a comment below.
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