A quartet of Once Upon a Time cast members are in negotiations to continue with the ABC fairy-tale drama should the show be renewed for a seventh season.
According to sources, original series stars Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan), Lana Parrilla (Regina Mills), and Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold), along with Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook), who joined the show in season 2, are all negotiating to extend their contracts. There’s no word on what that means for fellow originals Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming), and Jared Gilmore (Henry Mills), nor Emilie de Ravin (Belle), who joined later in season 1, but that doesn’t necessarily mean their returns are off the table. ABC declined to comment.
The news comes as Once Upon a Time‘s future is uncertain. ABC has not yet renewed the show for season 7, though OUAT bosses Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have previously said they don’t see season 6 as the end.
However, OUAT does seem poised for a big shift. At the Television Critics Association’s press tour in January, ABC Chief Channing Dungey expanded on her earlier comments about the future of Once, explaining that the OUAT bosses are looking at the potential seventh season as a springboard in a new direction, “which doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re not bringing cast back,” she said. “It’s just, how do you kind of hit the reset button in a way that gives you an opportunity to expand the stories that we’re telling?” While Dungey stopped short of revealing whether any actors would exit, she did note, “Whenever there’s change, there’s always a transition.”
For her part, Morrison seemed optimistic about sticking with the show back in January. “I have a really fierce loyalty to the show,” Morrison said. “I am fiercely protective of the character. I feel like so many amazing things have come to my life because of it. It’s really made my life better in so many ways. I don’t have any interest in abandoning something that is such a special part of my life, but I also know I don’t have it in me to do it forever, so it’s more about a life decision, and I don’t even know how to make that life decision until I know what ABC even wants.”
Earlier this week, Once Upon a Time added two new actors — The Walking Dead alum Andrew J. West and Jane the Virgin star Alison Fernandez, who will both appear in the season 6 finale, with the potential for more episodes should the show get renewed. Check out our theory on that here.
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.