In this week’s Entertainment Weekly, we take Once Upon a Time showrunners Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz to Disneyland as we get the scoop on the ABC hit’s second season and beyond. While checking out Walt’s traditional versions of Once‘s iconic characters like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, the writer-producers reveal how their gleefully revisionist fairy tale series will become the ultimate TV mashup of wildly different people and locations from various fictional sources — not unlike the park itself. Fairy tales were just the beginning.
“It’s like when you were young and had Star Wars figures and you mixed them with G.I. Joe,” Kitsis says. “Cobra and Darth Vader might not have known each other, but they do in my backyard. We’ve taken the principle of being 12-year-old boys and we’ve brought it to primetime.”
This Sunday that means the eagerly anticipated introduction of a sexy young Captain Hook. But the following week expect Once to journey to a new world unlike any we’ve seen before on the show. Plus, producers will eventually take Once characters to the Land of Oz and introduce their version of the Little Mermaid. And after bringing in Mulan and Lancelot this year, producers are not ruling out figures from other genre-bursting non-fairy tale sources (like, say, Moby Dick, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Tron).
But as more characters join this primetime backyard fantasyland, the stakes are raised for the show’s original cast of Disney icons. One beloved Once character narrowly escaped getting killed off last season, and showrunners hint that not every fan favorite on the show will have a happy ending. “We don’t want to panic anyone, but the stakes have to be real,” Horowitz says. “We’ve pushed the envelope with these characters and what we’ve done so far is just the beginning.”
How has Once cast such a successful spell? What can we expect from Emma, Snow, Charming, Regina, Rumple, Belle, Hook, and others in season two? What new characters might join the show? And is Peter Pan’s Flight a better ride than Pirates of the Caribbean? Find out in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Friday.