COMIC CON 2017: Shaking Things Up at Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

As everyone should know by now, the long-running fairy tale drama Once Upon a Time had a mass exodus of cast members at the end of last season, with the main characters finally getting their happy endings.

But what did that mean exactly for the show in terms of moving forward since it was renewed for a 7th season? That means that the creative minds behind the show are shaking things up not only creating a time jump in the story, but changing the narrative.

According to series creator Eddy Kitsis during the third day of Comic Con 2017, “we had a plan for six seasons…a time for happy endings and now (it’s time for) a new adventure.” That new adventure will focus on Henry Mills, who had been played by young actor Jared Gilmore for all six seasons of the show, but will now be portrayed as an adult by actor Andrew J. West (The Walking Dead and Dead of Summer).

The new direction of the show was further explained via a sneak peek at the opening scene of the show’s upcoming season premiere. With happy endings abounding in Storybrooke a nearly grown-up Henry (Gilmore) is going to set out to find his future. It would seem there are more than one version of the fairy tales and Henry is determined to learn more about them and find his place in the world.

Enter new characters such as a different Cinderella, who will be played by Dania Ramirez (Devious Maids), Gabrielle Anwar (Burn Notice) as the wicked stepmother, Adelaide Kane (Reign and Teen Wolf) as one of the wicked stepsisters, Mekia Cox (Secrets & Lies and Chicago Med) as Princess Tiana and Rose Reynolds (Poldark) as a new version of Alice in Wonderland.

But that doesn’t mean that all of the characters from the past six seasons of the show will not be seen, especially Regina Mills (Lana Parrilla), Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle). These three characters will play an important role in season 7 because grown up Henry gets himself into trouble and calls out to his family to help him. [Remember Mr. Gold is Henry’s grandfather, Regina is his adopted mother and Hook is his step-father.]

Eddy and Adam Horowitz assured the Comic Con audience that this season will be their “chance to pay homage to past cast members.” They further shared that “many of them will be back,” and they assured the fans that they are “not erasing anyone” from the series.

When new cast members Dania and Gabrielle were asked about how they landed their roles, each had a very interesting story. In short, Gabrielle got the call from her manager during a family dinner and when her 13-year-old daughter heard the words Once Upon a Time, she became very excited and whispered “Hook” to her mother. The decision, Gabrielle joked, was made… “I had to take the job.”

Dania, on the other hand, was on vacation in Hawaii with her family when she received the call about an audition. “I had no idea I was auditioning” (for the show), but she did the audition and a chemistry read with Andrew, “and the next day I got the part” and learned she would be playing Cinderella.

As the panel came to an end, a sizzle reel for season seven was screened, and as long-time viewer of the show, I have to admit that it looked quite impression; and this “reboot” of the show – my words not the cast or creative minds on the panel – just might work.

‘Once Upon a Time’ will return for its 7th season on ABC starting on its new night Friday, October 6 at 8/7c.