With the premiere of ABC’s hit series Once Upon a Time only days away, we’ll be running a series of interviews with the cast and creative team of Once Upon a Time, with a new interview appearing every day until the start of season four. All interviews were conducted at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International in July. The format of the interviews is “round-table” style, with a four or five journalists sitting “’round'” a table to catch a few minutes with the on- and off-screen talent.
As most Once Upon a Time fans know, this season’s first story arc will involve Disney characters from last year’s hit movie Frozen. Showrunner Edward Kitsis explained however, that they’re “not trying to do the sequel.” to the movie. “We think this will be a lot of fun,” he added, as viewers “watch to see if any of our characters had a past with them.”
When asked whether the series runs into the danger of overdoing the Disney thing, showrunner Adam Horowitz disagreed that that the show was being over “Disney-fied.” Horowitz said, not exactly answering the question. “I wouldn’t call it that,” he said, “but there is a danger in taking on” such a popular property, and the creative team is “very conscious of their responsibility to these beloved characters. Want to do them justice.”
Last year, the series tried (and largely succeeded) in creating two nearly distinct mini-seasons, each telling a different, though related story. It’s a freeing way to work, Kitisis noted, and they were “glad the network agreed to do it. We’re doing the same thing for this season.” Horowitz added that this season, the “two eleven-episode seasons will be thematically related, so that by the end of the season we’ll see that one led into the other.” The first half will focus on the Frozen characters, and, said Kitsis, “the winter finale will tease us into the second half.”
A few new, but familiar faces from the Once Upon a Time world will be appearing this season. Giancarlo Esposito appears in the season premiere, back in his role as Regina’s mirror. (It’s one of the real highlights of the first episode, which I have seen.) The showrunners lamented that it’s often difficult to bring back guest and recurring characters because they usually involved in other projects, and making it work can be a real challenge. They explained that to make it work for Giancarlo, the actor had to literally fly from a movie set in New York to the Once Upon a Time set in Vancouver on a weekend, and shoot everything in a day. Kitsis added that if they are working on another network, it can be even more difficult, since contracts only allow them to be used on the series only one time in a year.
At least one character from the now-defunct Once Upon a Time in Wonderland will be coming to Storybrooke. Michael Socha has joined the Once Upon a Time cast as Will Scarlet, one of Robin Hood’s crew. It’s a natural fit, Horowitz explained. “Michael’s Wonderland character had been a disgraced member of the Merry Men, and so there’s continuity with his character on Once Upon a Time.”
Once Upon a Time premieres for its fourth season Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC. After the show, tune into Let’s Talk TV on Blogcritics’ own radio network for an on-air live chat about the premiere. We’d love to hear your thoughts! Let’s Talk TV airs (this week only) at 9:00 p.m. ET on the Blogcritics Radio Network (hosted by BlogTalkRadio).
Next Interview, coming tomorrow: Emilie de Ravin and Robert Carlyle. So, stay tuned!
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