The ABC drama has tapped Gil McKinney (Supernatural, Friday Night Lights) to play the pivotal role of Prince Eric in a multi-episode Season 3 arc, TVLine has learned exclusively.
Prince Eric is, of course, known for being the love interest of mermaid Ariel, who will be portrayed by JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Reba, Privileged). Both characters will debut in this season’s sixth episode, appropriately titled “Ariel.”
Though little has been confirmed about Once‘s wrinkle on Ariel’s fish tale, the smart money says that our Storybrooke travelers bump up against the lass while braving the island of Neverland — perhaps cuing up a flashback to the “trouble” Regina once had with a certain mermaid. (Is the Evil Queen also Ursula? Discuss.)
McKinney played Dean and Sam’s paternal grandfather on Supernatural. He also appeared on the final season of Friday Night Lights as Julie’s T.A./love interest.
Once Upon a Time returns Sept. 29 at 8/7c.
When asked if Syfy’s Warriors of Oz (a post-apocalyptic, male-fronted saga) and CBS’ Dorothy (a contemporary medical drama), projects that just recently went into development, will impact their own, previously teased plans to someday plumb L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Once‘s Eddy Kitsis told TVLine, “We don’t really feel the pressure” — because, for one thing, they wanted to travel to Neverland first, during the first half of Season 3 (premiering Sept. 29).
“Last year there were a few Wonderland[-based pilots],” Kitsis notes, alluding to projects at NBC and The CW. “So you kind of have to throw your hat in the ring and see what happens.” (As it turned out, out of that crop only ABC’s Once Upon a Time in Wonderland landed on a fall schedule.)
“We’ve always loved Oz — we’ve talked about it, we’ve hinted at it,” Adam Horowitz acknowledges. “And if and when we get to it, we have the way we want to do it. And if we’re lucky enough to be able to do it, we’ll just go our way.”
Besides, if/when Once takes on that plucky lass from Kansas, it’s bound to be more faithful to the Oz-some stories we all know than the aforementioned riffs from Syfy and CBS.
“It just goes to our approach to all these things, which is about honoring the source material and trying to do something new to it without reinventing the wheel,” Horowitz notes. “We’ve tried to put our spin on characters like Snow White and Prince Charming while still allowing the audience to have the memories they love.”
An ABC rep confirms for TVLine that the Reba/Privileged alum will play the mermaid with moxie in at least two episodes, starting with the sixth installment of Season 3. TV Guide Magazine first reported on the casting.
Although Ariel’s appearance on the show — and often with Swisher’s name loosely attached — has been rumored since Season 1, the character’s Season 3 debut was confirmed at last month’s Comic-Con, in a teaser reel that showed a mysterious being sneaking up on a dwarf, stealing the fork (!) out of his lunchbox and vanishing into the ocean. Then, with the flick of a glistening fin, the redhead revealed herself and swam away.
Yet despite that context of the teaser (a la the previous Comic-Con’s glimpse of Captain Hook), Ariel will not surface in Storybrooke but in another realm.
Will Emma get some magic lessons from Regina in Neverland? Does Ariel have a connection to one of our favorite characters?
With Once Upon a Time returning for its third season on Sunday, Sept. 29 (8/7c on ABC), TVGuide.com decided it’s time for the brain trust behind ABC’s fairy-tale drama, executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis.
We grabbed your fan questions off Twitter and hit up Horowitz and Kitsis for a quick round of scoop, in which the producers had the option to answer, “Yes,” “No” or “Can’t Answer.” Some of their answers, and possible non-answers, are pretty telling, so check them out below:
Will we find out why or how Peter Pan obtained the drawing of Henry?
Adam Horowitz: Yes.
Is your Rufio the same as Hook‘s version of Rufio?
Horowitz: Rufio belongs to another take on the Pan thing. We’re not using that character that was created by another world, but we are making a loving nod towards a movie and a mythology that we enjoy. Hook was a movie that we saw when we were younger.
Kitsis: Everyone has great respect for that movie in the [writers'] room and you realize collectively everyone grew up loving that movie.
Horowitz: We wanted to give the fans a little nod to that. So, if you look closely, I think you might get a nice, fun nod.
Are we finally going to see how Regina (Lana Parrilla) adopted Henry (Jared Gilmore)?
Kitsis and Horowitz: Yes!
Will Regina get a love interest?
Kitsis: Will she chose to love is another question.
Can the Charmings really trust their enemies?
Horowitz: Can’t answer.
Will Ariel have a connection to our group?
Will Emma (Jennifer Morrison) get magic lessons from Regina?
Horowitz: Can’t answer.
Will there be a way to communicate between Neverland and Storybrooke?
Kitsis: Can’t answer.
Horowitz: Good question, though!
Will there be a new mayor in Storybrooke?
Kitsis: I’m not sure that the municipality of Storybrooke is what is first and foremost on the minds of the citizens.
Horowitz: We’ve seen a lot of Twitter fire about maybe Belle (Emilie de Ravin) will be mayor. She’s comptroller while everyone is gone. [Laughs]
Will we see Wendy Darling (Freya Tingley) again?
Will we find out who wrote the fairy tale book?
Horowitz: Can’t answer.
Might the group split up when they get to Neverland?
Horowitz and Kitsis: Can’t answer.
Will Rumple (Robert Carlyle) revert to his old self physically in Neverland?
Kitsis: You never know with the Dark One.
Horowitz: Being in Neverland will have a profound effect on all the characters, including Rumple.
Will we actually see the Land of Oz this season?
Horowitz: Let’s talk about that question in December.
Kitsis: Not in the first pod of episodes.
Once Upon a Time returns Sunday, Sept. 29 at 8/7c on ABC.
New Zealand-born actress Rose McIver will play the flitting character in multiple episodes, EW.com reports.
As revealed by series cocreator Adam Horowitz at Comic-Con last weekend, the ABC drama will be “taking the [Tinker Bell] icon and putting our spin on it. How we introduce her and who she is [will] hopefully be surprising.”
Horowitz also teased, “We’re going to find that she has a surprising connection to someone at this table” – the Comic-Con dais was populated by Robert Carlyle, Lana Parrilla, Emilie De Ravin, Colin O’Donoghue, Michael Raymond-James, Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison — though the EP ruled out the obvious guess, Captain Hook.
McIver’s credits include a February 2012 CSI appearance, the Kiwi sitcom Super City, Power Rangers R.P.M. and The Lovely Bones.
Once opens its third season on Sunday, Sept. 29.
Looks like Ursula isn’t the only evil queen who’s super jelly sandwich of Ariel.
Once Upon a Time‘s Evil Queen Lana Parilla tells E! News that she’s dying to play the iconic role on the ABC show: “I know that it’s a role that I would love to play! I think all of us have tried to, like we’ve whispered in producers’ ears about transforming one of us into a mermaid for an episode…I can’t go blond, but maybe red?”
“Listen, I would love to be Ariel!” echoes star Jennifer Morrison (Emma), whom we know can rock a red hairdo, thanks to her time on House. “I know all the words to all the songs from The Little Mermaid. I was a little obsessed back in the day.”
Producers revealed that the beloved redheaded mermaid will be introduced in season three, but so far no word on who will get the coveted role. And suffice to say…It probably won’t be anyone who’s already playing another character! But hey, the ladies can dream.
Meanwhile, the love storylines are heating up, including the hot-as-fire Hook and Emma chemistry. Morrison tells us that Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) will have the upper hand (just one of them…because the other hand is a hook, you see) in the Hook-Emma-Neal (Michael-Raymond James) love triangle.
“We start the season with Neil and Emma being separated by two different worlds,” Morrison explains, “and Hook is with Emma on the pirate ship. So there’s definitely going to be the push and pull. Emma just said she loved Neil, and Neil said I love you too, and then he’s gone and she thinks he’s dead, and then she’s with Hook. And that’s definitely complicated.” Ugh. Don’t you just hate it when your lover fake dies and you get stuck on a pirate ship with one of the hottest men ever to grace the planet? The. Worst.
A little less complicated may be the romance between Belle (Emilie De Ravin) and Gold (Robert Carlysle), according to Belle herself. “There’s always hope with them and there’s always magic and that’s what keeps the Rump-Belle relationship going,” de Ravin tells us. “What’s interesting is that it is so real and it is so passionate.” Carlysle tells us that Belle and Gold will indeed end up in the same place again this season, so do not give up hope. Huz. Zah.
Emilie is also pushing for a reunion with her Lost co-star Naveen Andrews, who has been cast as Jafar on the spinoff Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
“I think they’re planning on doing something like [a crossover] with the characters,” Emilie tells us, “so of course these [producers] are so creative, they’re going to do something like that I’m sure!”
“I love Naveen!” she gushes. “Amazing guy and an amazing actor. I’m really excited about the [Wonderland] spinoff thing.”
As for what to expect from Neverland this season on the mothership show? Morrison describes Peter Pan as “not nice” (ya think!?), and so far there is no word on who will play him. And Ginnifer Goodwin gushes about the new Neverland sets, saying that the show’s producers and set designers, “Somehow know what is in all of our dreams of this place, and yet they so think outside the box at the same time.”
We can’t wait.
Someone has made like the Prince of Thieves and “stolen” the role of Robin Hood for Once Upon a Time Season 3.
With Merlin‘s Tom Ellis unavailable to return to the role he played in the Belle-centric Season 2 episode “Lacey,” fellow Brit Sean Maguire will play the character for a recurring arc, TVLine has learned exclusively.
“Although we love Tom Ellis, unfortunately he wasn’t available,” series cocreator Adam Horowitz previously told TVLine of the recast plan. “We remain huge fans of his, but because we have an arc planned for the character, we had to move forward.”
In addition to playing TV’s Kröd Mändoon (pictured at right), Maguire’s credits include the UK crime drama Scott & Bailey and miniseries Bedlam, Criminal Minds, The Class and Off Centre. He also costarred on the BBC soap EastEnders, as Aidan Brosnan.
Once opens its new season on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 8/7c.
The red-coiffed mermaid made her much-anticipated Once Upon a Time debut during the ABC drama’s Comic-Con panel on Saturday — but that wasn’t the only splash made during the session.
Here’s everything you need to know about Peter Pan, Neverland, Tinker Bell and more ahead in Once Upon a Time Season 3.
PART OF YOUR WORLD | Series cocreators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz closed out the Once panel with an exclusive sneak peek featuring none other than The Little Mermaid herself, Ariel. Who will be portraying the water-dweller in question has yet to be revealed, but the clip showcased a mysterious being sneaking up on a dwarf, stealing the fork (!!) out of his lunchbox and vanishing into the ocean. Then, with the flick of a glistening fin, the redhead revealed herself and swam away.
OFF TO NEVERLAND | As Once fans know well, the fantastical series is on its way to Peter Pan’s hometown in Season 3. “We will be seeing a lot of Neverland and [some of its] different areas.” Kitsis teased of the journey. “Some, of course, will be those you remember from the book… It’s a place where imagination comes from, and anything can happen.”
GREEN WITH EVIL? | “Peter Pan has a complicated motivation,” Horowitz revealed. “It’s a little different than you’ve seen before.” Added Kitsis: “He might be frightening. To some people.”
SOME PIXIE DUST | Peter Pan’s trusty fairy sidekick will be making an appearance as well. “It’s taking the [Tinkerbell] icon and putting our spin on it,” Horowitz shared. “How we introduce her and who she is [will] hopefully be surprising. We’re going to find that she has a surprising connection to someone at this table” – and it’s not the obvious, Captain Hook.
KILLER QUEEN | “My favorite kill is coming up in Season 3,” Lana Parrilla teased with an Evil Queen-esque laugh. “It really is.”
THE BELLE OF STORYBROOKE | There’s “a lot in store for Belle” back in Storybrooke this season. Said Kitsis, “What’s happening back in Storybrooke and what’s happening in Neverland [will end up] connecting in a surprising way.” As for Belle and Rumpelstiltskin’s future, the EP mused: “The question I’m wondering is: Will these two ever be reunited? Will they find their happy ending?”
Once Upon a Time has tapped up-and-comer Robbie Kay — aka the titular star of the internationally produced 2008 TV-miniseries Pinocchio — to join the Season 3 cast as a member of the infamous Lost Boys, TVLine has learned exclusively.
Kay, who will appear on a recurring basis, is the first of Peter Pan’s Neverland minions to be cast for the new season. The show is currently searching for an actor to play the group’s mischievous, occasionally twisted leader, Rufio.
In addition to Pinocchio, which earned Kay a 2009 Young Artist Award nomination, the young actor’s credits include Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and the upcoming indie Ways to Live Forever.
Once‘s third season premieres Sunday, Sept. 29 at 8/7c.
Giancarlo 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.
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.
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.
Once Upon a Time Bosses Dish on Peter Pan and Season 3’s Epic Adventure: “We’re the Dysfunctional Avengers!”
“We’re the dysfunctional Avengers!”
Once Upon a Time closed out its stellar second season with its heroes and villains, including Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Regina (Lana Parrilla), Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) and Captain Hook (Colin O’Donohue), boarding a ship to Neverland on a mission to save Henry (Jared Gilmore). Also on the ship? Passenger Tension, lots of!
We chatted with exeuctive producers Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Tex. this past weekend, where they teased the group’s complicated dynamics, jokingly referring to them as the “dysfunctional Avengers,” the casting search for new big bad Peter Pan, Emma’s feelings for one of her suitors heating up and more…
“The show is a messed-up family show at its core,” Horowitz explains of the decision to end season two with all of its characters forced to work together, “and that’s what’s great about it for us: how are these characters connected and how can they be related and semi-related.”
Through the group’s adventure to Neverland, Kitsis tells us its “exciting” for the writers to tackle questions such as, “How are they all going to influence each other? Emma has magic and some people on that boat wield magic, but they’re not good influences. How are they going to work together? How are they going to get along?”
Horowitz and Kitsis are hoping to use the journey to the new world as a way to peel back more layers to its central characters. “it’s about taking new lands, like Neverland, and using it as a way to open up our characters and dive deeper; taking the villains and heroes and throwing them together and forcing them to a common goal as a method for us to dig deeper and find out more about what makes them tick.”
Aside from family feuds and seasickness, there will also be time for a bit of romance, like some development in the love triangle between Emma, Hook and Bae (Michael Raymond-James, who has been upped to series regular for season three). “It’s fun for us to have Emma on that ship with someone as handsome as Hook thinking the person she truly loves is dead, while he’s trying to get back to her,” Kitsis teases.
The group will have to face a major threat in their journey to save Henry: Peter Pan. Of the search for season three’s big bad, Kitsis says, “We have begun the process, but we have begun it secretly! We’re sneaky this way!” And while some fans have guessed that the Wraith that appeared in the season two premiere may have been Pan, Horowitz was quick to debunk that theory saying, “We have not seen Peter Pan yet.”
One person who has seen Peter Pan? Rumpelstiltskin, who revealed he has a past with the mysterious character. “When someone as scary and menacing as Rumpel is telling you that someone is to be feared, you better listen,” Horowitz teases, adding that the backstory between the two characters will be a “slow reveal, but one that will come within those first 11 episodes.”
Season two saw the introduction of a lot of new characers, including Mulan, Princess Aurora, Tamara and Greg, to name but a few, but Kitsis and Horowitz are shifting the focus back to the core characters in season three, with Kitsis saying, “It’s really about this journey and it’s really about these characters and we really want to dive back into our core characters. There’s things left to be explored.”
Like Emma last year found out she had magic. She’s not had a moment to contemplate why. So for us, another question for Emma is:She saved everyone else’ happy endings, but what about her own? We really want to dive into these characters,” he continues, adding that fans will learn more about Prince Charming’s (Josh Dallas) past. “I want to know more about Prince Charming. He was really good with a sword, but he was a shepherd. Well, there’s a chance he probably left home before he came back.”
Once Upon a Time returns to ABC this fall Sundays at 8 p.m.
Once Upon a Time has promoted Michael Raymond-James to series regular status for Season 3, TVLine has learned exclusively.
Series co-creator Adam Horowitz first shared the plan with us at ABC’s Upfront party on May 14, and on June 7, it was confirmed as officially a done deal.
After making his Once debut as Emma’s ex/Henry’s father Neal Cassidy aka Baelfire in the Emma-centric episode “Tallahassee,” Raymond-James heavily recurred in the last string of Season 2 episodes, as Rumple discovered his son in New York City and circumstances then led them back to Storybrooke.
When last seen, Neal had been shot by Tamara, fallen through a portal and ultimately washed ashore in The Fairytale Land That Is, where he was tended to by Aurora, Mulan and Phillip.