The creators of Once Upon A Time brought their new show Dead Of Summer to the ATX Television Fest, but the biggest news to come out of the panel – hints on what’s to come on next season on OUAT. “This season is going to be different than the past seasons,” Creator/EP Edward Kitsis told the crowd. “It’s not going to be ‘Hyde comes to town, we fight with him for 10 episodes, and then the winter finale he dies, we move on.’ We kind of changed around what we’re doing this year… going back to that season 1 mentality, with small town stories and smaller arcs. We’re planning a 22 episode story, as oppose to just kind of breaking it up into 2 parts.”
Of course, they also talked up their new series on Freeform, a supernatural tale following the counselor of a summer camp with dark, mysterious secrets, and so they say, plenty of scares. “No, this is not a slasher movie” Kitsis insisted. “It’s a supernatural. You are going to see things from their past, things that haunt them. Their demons will manifest themselves on the island so that everything is thematically linked.” That’s much like like Lost, which Kitsis and Creator/EP Adam Horowitz served on as executive producers. And in keeping with that similarity, the new show uses “flashbacks, revealing each character’s backstory and how each of them connect.”
Inspired by their own experience as campers, as well as by 80s horror and teen genre films, the team said the idea came from a “mash up” of the typical archetypes for those genres: “the jock, the stoner” and “the cheerleader.” Dead of Summer being a horror-supernatural show, audencies can expect main characters to die. But not too abruptly, according to Horowitz. “We want you to fall in love with the characters before we kill them.”
Other panelist present were Creator EP Ian Goldberg and cast members Mark Indelicate and Elizabeth Lail
Dead Of Summer premieres June 28 on Freeform.