This fall, the world of Once Upon a Time is expanding the world of Wonderland. At the ABC Television Critics Association Press Day (TCAs), the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland executive producers and cast discussed the limited series.
Sophie Lowe (Alice)
Michael Socha (The Knave of Hearts)
Peter Gadiot (Cyrus)
Emma Rigby (The Red Queen)
Naveen Andrews (Jafar)
Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz and Zack Estrin (Executive Producers)
Highlights from the Panel:
- Initial order is 13 episodes and a complete tale will be told. If Wonderland gets picked up for more episodes, it will return in spring with a new story.
- Cora (Barbara Hershey) was Queen of Hearts in Once Upon a Time. Emma Rigby plays the Red Queen from Looking Glass. They hope to have Hershey appear in flashbacks.
- Wonderland has its own mythology. The show exists in same time frame as Once in the post-curse world.
- "She's tough mentally and physically. She can kick ass." - Lowe on Alice
- Alice in Wonderland was the only book that Lowe's mother had growing up, so it's strange now to play Alice. Lowe said, "So I think that's really strange, now I get to play like her childhood is coming to life in front of her as well. So it's a big part of our family."
- Jafar won't be the "popular imagination." Andrews expanded, "I know he exists almost as an icon, a sort of incarnation of evil. I think that's fair to say. But I think what we want to do is to present the audience with something they've never seen before. You know, there has to be ambiguity..."
- The series will include a Hookah Smoking Caterpillar (still voiced from Robert Daltrey), the Cheshire Cat and John Lithgow voicing the White Rabbit.
- Wonderland is based on Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, but it's the writers' interpretation. It answers: What happened to her after she grew up? And, Alice has never been seen in a romance with a genie before.
- "Love the mash-up. Alice meeting Jafar." - Horowitz
- The show will look into Alice's background and relationship with her father. She was ignored and she's trying to prove her story in order to get his love.
- "We never wanted Alice to be a damsel in distress. We liked the idea that she is going to, you know, go back down that rabbit hole sword in hand and find her man." - Kitsis
- There aren't any plans for Sebastian Stan to return as the Mad Hatter right now due to his availability, but the role is his and won't be recast. If he becomes available, there is room for him to appear.
- Part of Wonderland takes place in Victoria England at the same time as our present day. Horowitz explained how that's possible, "The way we do it and the way we approach it is it's not historical Victorian England. It is fictional Victorian England. ... It's how we've done it on Once many times where we've gone to other lands that appear to be in different times, but they are actually lands of story that occur contemporaneously with our world."
- "I think you'll find that a genie feels that they are a prisoner of the bottle, you know, and those handcuffs on them are literal." - Kitsis
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland premieres on Thursday, October 10 at 8 pm ET.
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(Image courtesy of ABC.)