UPDATED with video Saturday, 12:13 PM The TV lineup at San Diego Comic-Con kicked off with Once Upon A Time in Ballroom 20 with a behind-the-scenes gag reel from season 6, setting the tone of the fantasy-filled panel moderated by The Mayor‘s Yvette Nicole Brown which included new footage and new casting announcements.
Brown started off by welcoming a little over half of the creative team and cast including executive producers and show creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis as well as writer David H. Goodman. Cast members Colin O’Donoghue, Lana Parrilla, and Robert Carlyle also took the stage and before Brown dived into questions about the previous season which closed a chapter on the series, an audience member yelled “Why?!” noting their dissatisfaction with the season which some “Oncers” had strong feelings about. An audience member with noted by a fan yelling “WHY?!”
Brown stepped in saying, “This is not going to be that kind of panel — we are going to be kind and loving to all these people.”
Kitsis chimed in, “It was time for some of these Characters to get their happy endings — we aren’t erasing anything. We are going to take the new characters and go on a new journey. We hope you can go on it with us.”
Of those characters, are new players from the fairytale canon including Mekia Cox as Tiana, Adelaide Kane as the wicked stepsister Drizella, and Rose Reynolds as Alice, to which Kitsis joked, “Since no one watched the spin-off.”
Shortly after Brown welcomed new cast members Dania Ramirez, who plays Cinderella in the upcoming season as well as Older Henry Mills, Andrew J. West as well as Wicked Stepmother Lady Tremaine played by Gabrielle Anwar.
Horowitz and Kitsis treated the audience opening scene of the new season with young Henry Mills (Jared Gilmore) saying good-bye to Regina (Parilla) as he drives through a beam to a new Storybrooke. Fast-forward years later in another realm and we see older Henry riding his motorcycle and has a little fender bender with Cinderella and her carriage — making for a fairytale meet-cute.
For those who are worried that they will never see the first OUAT class in the new season Kitsis says that the new adventure has Henry wanting to visit other Storybrookes and meeting new characters and he calls upon O’Donoghue, Parrilla, and Carlyle’s for help. In addition, Kitsis revealed that they are planning to have another LGBTQ storyline in the forthcoming season. This is not the first time OUAT included a gay-themed storyline. In season three, Mulan (Jamie Chung) revealed her unrequited love for Princess Aurora (Sarah Bolger) and in season five Ruby (Meghan Ory) admits her feelings for Dorothy (Teri Reeves).
The panel ended with a special Comic-Con trailer for the seventh season which can be watched above.
The May finale had the citizens of the modern fairytale-infused Storybrooke seeing a happy ending, but then made a flash-forward in time where we saw Lucy introducing herself to an adult Henry as his daughter telling him “Your family needs you,” thus leaving the door open for more story. Hence, the introduction to Cinderella. The new season premieres October 6.