Co-creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz had been planning to develop a spin-off around the Mad Hatter (played by Sebastian Stan), but with Stan’s schedule fully booked, and the duo not wanting to re-cast anyone, it looks like things have been changing gears.
Deadline report that the spin-off is moving forward at ABC, with the studio closing deals with Zack Estrin (Prison Break, Tru Calling) and Jane Espenson (Once Upon a Time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) for the new series.
The plan is reportedly for Kitsis and Horowitz to run the spin-off with Estrin, if the project gets booked to series, with Espenson returning to Once Upon a Time, which the co-creators will continue to run as well.
Details are currently being kept under wraps for the spin-off, but it’s thought that it will take place in Wonderland, and would be told from the point of view of Alice, who is yet to appear on the show. And she would be surrounded by new characters.
According to a casting breakdown released last week, they are Amahl, described as exotic, soulful and optimistic; and The Knave, a sardonic adventurer, a man of action, a loner and a heart-breaker.
The new series would take place in a post-curse world, but there would be flashbacks, leaving open the possibility for cameos from the original series.
If everything goes according to plan, Kitsis and Horowitz are aiming to have thirteen-episode seasons, with an arc crossing over each season, which could possibly bridge the gap between the fall/autumn and spring segments of Once Upon a Time.
The two co-creators are currently penning a 15- to 20-page, four-scene presentation, with input from Espenson and Estrin. Production is set to begin on 7th April out in Vancouver, as soon as Once Upon a Time wraps.
With the spin-off’s expected production date for the presentation so close on the horizon, we’ll hopefully be hearing the first casting news soon. More as we get it.