With ABC’s Once Upon a Time wrapping its sixth season this spring, the network and the show’s creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis had been discussing a potential seventh season that would reimagine the fairytale drama. I hear that a potential new installment is looking to shake things up, focusing on four of the most popular characters on the show.
I hear ABC Studios, which produces Once, is in talks with original cast members Jennifer Morrison (Emma), Lana Parrilla (Regina), Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold) as well as Colin O’Donoghue (Hook), who has been a staple on the show for the past few seasons, about a potential Season 7. The list does not include Ginnifer Goodwin (Mary), Josh Dallas (David) and Jared Gilmore (Henry), who had been on the show since the start.
The contracts for the original Once cast are up at the end of this season, and some stars, including Morrison, had said in interviews that they were not sure whether they would continue. ABC would likely wait for the studio to lock in the actors to pave the way for a possible Season 7 renewal.
In an interview with Deadline in January, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey hinted about Season 7 being envisioned as a reboot, opening a new chapter in the franchise after closing the current one after six seasons. “Regardless of what we decide to do at the end of this season, I think (Horowitz and Kitsis) think they would put a little bit of a bow here, and then there is a next piece that comes after that,” she said.“There will be a little bit of closure in this particular narrative.”
It is unclear what the potential Once 2.0 would look with Emma, Regina, Mr. Gold and Hook. It also is unclear whether original stars Goodwin, Dallas and Gilmore would be part of the show going forward, if there is a Season 7. There had been rumors that Goodwin and Dallas, who got married and had two kids while on the show, had approached Season 6 going in as their final year on the show. ABC and ABC Studios would not comment on contract negotiations.
Creative and casting revamps late in a drama series’ life are tricky. At ABC, The Practice did it years ago to mixed results. And last year, ABC Studios closed deals with several of the stars of ABC veteran Castle amidst controversy before the network opted to ultimately not proceed with another season.
While down in the ratings, Once remains an important series for ABC with strong Disney DNA and solid DVR and digital play. The current sixth season, in which the Evil Queen had been facing her alter ego, has been building toward a big fight between light and darkness.