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Following the news that Once Upon a Time‘s upcoming seventh season would feature a new iteration of Cinderella, the OUAT bosses revealed at Comic-Con Saturday that we’ll also be seeing her wicked family — and some other familiar faces from the Disney canon.
As previously announced, Dania Ramirez will play a new iteration of Cinderella, who happens to be Lucy’s mother/Henry’s wife. New series regular Gabrielle Anwar will be playing Cinderella’s evil stepmother Lady Tremaine, while recurring addition Adelaide Kane will play her wicked stepsister Drisella. Recurring adds Rose Reynolds and Mekia Cox will be playing Alice in Wonderland and Tiana, respectively.
To explain exactly what they’re doing next year, the OUAT bosses treated fans to a first look at the opening scenes of season 7. Here’s what we saw: In Storybrooke an indeterminate time after the events of the finale, a young Henry decides to leave home. He’s still the Author and wants to find his own story — it’s not here in this realm. He explains to Regina that when he finished the first book, he returned it to the Sorcerer’s mansion and found other books, including ones that featured French and Italian Snow Whites. So he wants to venture to new realms. Using August’s motorcycle, he throws a magic bean to go to a new land. Regina is surprised that Emma and Snow/Charming are alright with this, but Henry says stubbornness runs in the family. We then find the older Henry in another realm, years later, riding his motorcycle through the woods when he runs into Dania Ramirez’s Cinderella running away in the carriage. She’s thrown from the carriage and knocked out. Henry realizes who she is. Title card. Boom.
While we’ll be seeing new iterations of characters, we will still be seeing the same Hook, Regina, and Rumple we know and love — though it appears they may be under a curse with new identities. In a new trailer screened at the end of the panel, we also saw glimpses of Hook dressed as a cop and Regina (possibly) as a bartender. Here’s the deal: “Henry’s on a new adventure. He left home and he wants to visit other storybooks with different stories and different characters and he obviously falls in love with Cinderella,” executive producer Edward Kitsis said. “He gets into some trouble and he calls out to help from his family, and the three people you see on the stage come to his rescue. It’s really these three and Henry on an epic adventure.” To note: You wouldn’t see the new Cinderella and the old (played by Jessy Schram) at the same time since she’s back in Storybrooke, not in this new realm. Plus: EP Adam Horowitz said it’s likely we’ll some of those
To note: You wouldn’t see the new Cinderella and the old (played by Jessy Schram) at the same time since she’s back in Storybrooke, not in this new realm. Plus, EP Adam Horowitz said it’s likely we’ll see some of those exiting cast members return in some capacity. “It’s our hope that we’ll be seeing a lot of them pop up from time to time during the season. This isn’t the end.”
Though the show is going through a reboot with some new characters, the OUAT bosses promise they’re not erasing the past. “We had a plan for the original show that ran six seasons and at a point, we felt like it was time for characters to get their happy endings,” Kitsis says. “What we’re going to do now is go on a new adventure. If your real fear is we’re going to erase the last six years, we are not… The advice I would give to the characters is never stop fighting for what you believe in and never give up.”
Lana Parrilla had some advice for her character as well: “To never give up,” the actress said. Robert Carlyle’s advice for Rumple, meanwhile: “Be careful with magic beans.”
Colin O’Donoghue didn’t have advice for his character just yet, but he did touch on the possibility of Hook and Emma (Jennifer Morrison) having a child. “They love each other and it’s true love, and they’re married, so the next logical step for them would be to consider whether or not [they should] have a baby,” O’Donoghue teases. The actor also noted he hoped to explore more about Hook’s mother in the future.
In other news from the panel, Kitsis says the show will feature a prominent LGBT character in season 7. “We are planning to do it this year,” he says.
Also screened during the panel was a blooper reel from the upcoming Blu-ray and DVD release, which EW has the first public look at below. Once Upon a Time: The Complete Sixth Season will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on August 15.
Once Upon a Time returns Friday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.