Once Upon a Time: Showrunners Answer 15 Burning Season 7 Fan Questions – IGN
Once Upon a Time: Season 7 premieres Friday, October 6th at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Once Upon a Time is returning in a big, new way with Season 7, which marks what showrunners Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis call a “requel” — part reboot, part sequel — for the ABC fairy tale drama. With the news that not every previously major character will be returning for this jump forward in time after Season 6’s happily ever afters, there have understandably been a lot of questions about how this change will affect the many, many characters the audience knows and has come to love.
So with that in mind, I turned to you, Once Upon a Time fans, to find out your most pressing concerns and burning questions about Season 7. I took those and brought them straight to Kitsis and Horowitz, who broke down what we can expect for Belle and Emma’s returns to the show, whether we can expect new versions of beloved characters like Robin and the Wicked Witch, and whether
Regina Roni and Hook will be getting new love interests. Read the full Q&A below!
IGN: Will the format of the seasons and episodes change going into the reboot?
Eddy Kitsis: The first thing I will say is it is not a reboot: it’s a requel. Part reboot, part sequel. So it’s a requel, Terri, and you get to use that word first! … It’s going to be the same exact format, the same exact thing that people experience, hence the requel. Instead of Storybrooke, we’re going to be in Seattle, in a neighborhood called Hyperion Heights.
IGN: What is the threat that we’ll be facing this year and how that might be different than what you’ve done on Once before?
Adam Horowitz: The main villain we’re going to meet first is Lady Tremaine. We are going to be kind of seeing how Henry’s life mashes up with the new iteration of Cinderella. For us, where Regina decided with the curse she was going to keep everyone in the same town and prevent them from leaving, I would say this is the opposite in that we’re going to find a neighborhood that is slowly being developed by Lady Tremaine, and what she realized is if she pushes all the fairy tale characters away from the neighborhood, and they’re all separated, they can never find each other. The [ultimate] goal is, well, if Snow and Charming lived in separate cities, how would they ever meet?
IGN: Are these the same versions of Regina and Hook that we know from our story book, or are they from other story books?
Horowitz: These are all versions of the characters we’ve already seen on the show. We’re not introducing a new version of anyone.
Kitsis: But what I can say is, unlike the original show, Regina and Hook will now have cursed Seattle personas. Regina’s is named Roni and Hook is Rogers.
IGN: Why is Roni the right name for this new cursed version of Regina?
Kitsis: We wanted a name that was specific. She’s playing a bartender who’s kind of sticking up for the neighborhood. She’s the last hold out. We named her after Ronnie Spector because we just thought that was such a cool and fun name, and at the same time we could totally picture Lana with background singers.
Horowitz: It sounded cool, and that character needs to have an element of cool. Regina is a special character, and still the flashbacks of the season, Regina is still her name. Yes, it’s a new person that she’s occupying, but we’ll be seeing the tried-and-true version of Regina as well.
IGN: You mentioned that Emma and Belle will be in upcoming episodes. Who will they be interacting with in those episodes? Will it just be their significant others, or other characters from Storybrooke as well?
Horowitz: It’s a tricky question to answer without spoiling things.
Kitsis: I would say a mix of both.
Horowitz: It’s a mix of both. For example, we’re not just seeing Emma with Hook. We’ll be seeing her with other people as well.
IGN: And how about what you can tease for Belle and Rumple?
Horowitz: I think the thing we’re most interested in teasing for the audience is it’s sort of a hyper romantic story —
Kitsis: That takes place after their happy ending.
Horowitz: It’s not like it’s a flashback in the sense that it’s not like we’re looking at another chapter between Rumple and Belle. This is actually a story about Rumple and Belle after the events of Season 6.
IGN: Will we see the Charmings again?
Kitsis: We love the Charmings very, very much. We could possibly see them this season, absolutely. We remain very close with them, and we miss them every day.
Horowitz: The door’s certainly open. Hopefully in the right circumstances it can work out.
IGN: Are there any other characters’ storylines you’d want to close out after the events of Season 6?
Horowitz: I would say for many, many of the characters in Season 6 and earlier, there are more moments we’d love to have with them this year. A lot of that will be schedule dependent on the different performers, whether they’re willing or able to come back.
Kitsis: But, in the same respect, we hope that people like some of the new characters they’re going to meet this year, like Alice and Tiana and Cinderella and Drizella.
IGN: With there being a new version of a character like Cinderella, is the door open for new versions of beloved characters like Robin? Who is on and off limits?
Horowitz: The truth of the matter is we’re not recasting Snow and Charming —
Kitsis: — Wicked Witch, or Robin —
Horowitz: We’re not recasting Robin. Sean Maguire is Robin, and that’s not going to change in the canon of the show.
Kitsis: Will we meet other characters? Sure, perhaps. But I would say that the real question it seems like from the fans is: You’re not going to show another Snow White, are you? And the answer is: no.
IGN: What can you say about the cursed version of Rumple?
Kitsis: I would say that the cursed version of Rumple is similar to the other version of Rumple in that you never know quite what he’s up to and what he’s doing. For us, it’s really great because Bobby has a new persona and it is not Mr. Gold and it is super fun to watch him do it.
IGN: How will Rumple and Hook’s relationship change this year now that they don’t know each other in Hyperion Heights?
Horowitz: We spent many seasons with the two of them as bitter rivals. … Now, it’s going to be very different. Now, both in terms of their relationship between the flashbacks and in the present, they’re dealing with each other in a new way. I think there’s some fun to be had in their interplay, but as always when you’re dealing with Rumpelstiltskin, there’s a level of menace and unease.
IGN: We’ve talked a bit about Henry and Regina, but what can you say about the Rumple/Henry dynamic and the Rumple/Lucy dynamic?
Kitsis: We saw at the end of last year that Rumple and Belle showed up at the family dinner at Granny’s, so it sort of hinted that they had a grandfather/grandson relationship. I think that although they don’t know each other in Seattle, we’ll see in the flashbacks that Rumple embraced his role as grandfather. Then again it’s Rumple, so you never know.
IGN: You have teased you’re going to have a new queer character on the show. Will that be a new character, or a pre-existing character who we’ll find out more about?
Horowitz: It will be a new character that we have introduced within the premiere that we will realize is gay within the first four episodes.
IGN: Are you looking to have new love interests for characters like Hook and Regina?
Horowitz: What I’ll say is this: romance is a huge part of the show, but for those characters in particular, they’re dealing with other things right now. For Regina, for example, she’s never been someone who’s been defined by finding a romantic partner. She’s about so much more, and really much more important is the relationship with her son.
Kitsis: And I think you’re going to find with Hook there’s also a pressing goal ahead of him. I would never say never — and I don’t want to say yes … but the truth of the matter is, right now, they have other things going on in the first half of this season. Again, it is Once Upon a Time and romance is going to be on the show, especially with Henry and Cinderella, who we’re modeling after [Charming and Snow].
IGN: Beyond Henry and Cinderella, what new relationships and romances do you expect fans are going to respond strongly to?
Horowitz: You know what, we love all of them, and we never would presume to guess who the fans love or what they would think or all that. Our hope is the fans will approach the show with an open mind. We’re super excited about these characters. We’re super excited about what we’re doing with the returning characters. And we hope that the fans fall in love with this new iteration of the show as much as we have making it.
Terri Schwartz is Editorial Producer at IGN. Talk to her on Twitter at @Terri_Schwartz.
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