Once Upon A Time may be wrapping up its sophomore season in Neverland. Ahead of tonight’s new episode, the cast and showrunners of ABC‘s fairy tale drama revealed that the first episode in their season-ending two-parter will be titled “Second Star To The Right” followed by the finale “And Straight On Til Morning”. A new character will be teased but not revealed until the third season, which show creators Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz also promised would include the backstory of fan favorite Captain Hook (Season 2 regular Colin O’Donoghue).
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Kitsis and Horowitz were joined onstage at PaleyFest 2013 by series stars Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard), Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan), Robert Carlyle (Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold), Lana Parrilla (Evil Queen/Regina), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming/David Nolan), Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook), and Emilie de Ravin (Belle) for a Q&A moderated by TVLine’s Matt Mitovich. The panel teased new character relationships and dynamics to come, including a Mary Margaret-Regina face-off and an episode 22 “game changer” involving Rumplestiltskin’s relationship with his son.
Lost alums Kitsis and Horowitz for the most part kept mum over character shifts and spoilers but acknowledged that they’ve been playing a long game with certain reveals. Giving characters their memories back at the end of Season 1 allowed the writers to more deeply explore character and backstories in the second season. “The big thing for Season 2 was finding a structure for it”, said Horowitz. “The first part of the season has led to second part of the season, leading to an end run we’re really excited about…one big advantage when we started Season 2 was we knew we had a Season 2. We could plan out a big arc with a beginning, a middle, and an end for this year”.
The ABC series became one of the first Disney properties to tap the company’s new relationship with Lucasfilm when it used the Star Wars theme as a character’s ringtone. That wasn’t necessarily a hint at plans for Once to tap a galaxy far, far away as a future new land. “We love Star Wars but we’re not going to Endor… yet”, quipped Horowitz. “Originally it was an Adele song, but that cost $200,000″ added Kitsis. As for Jefferson, AKA The Mad Hatter, played by Sebastian Stan in six episodes before his dance card filled up with a Broadway run and Captain America: Winter Soldier duties, Kitsis denied rumors that they’re looking to replace Stan: “We have no plans to recast anyone. But we can say is, alas he is a very busy man, and I don’t know when he’ll be making his way toward us in the near future”.
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