‘Once Upon a Time’: Creators Defend Cast Shakeup Amidst Fan Outcry

Comic-Con: Fan outburst led the moderator to scold, “What it’s not going to be is stuff like that”

Once Upon a Time

Some “Once Upon a Time” fans are not happy with losing a number of key cast members ahead of Season 7, and voicing that angst is exactly what they did during a San Diego Comic-Con panel on Saturday.

The ABC drama series’ team took part in the panel, where things got off to a bumpy start when an attendee shouted, “Why?” This was an apparent reference to the network announcing in May that the show’s upcoming run would be without such core cast members as Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow), Josh Dallas (Charming) and Jennifer Morrison (Emma).

The outburst led moderator Yvette Nicole Brown to scold the fan. “What it’s not going to be is stuff like that,” the “Community” alum said from the stage. “I will shut this whole thing down.”

Series creator Eddy Kitsis told the crowd that he and co-creator Adam Horowitz decided “it was time for characters to get their happy endings,” which is why the show is heading down this new path.

“We are going to take a new journey, and we hope you come with us on it,” Kitsis said. 

Horowitz said that the show “needed to say goodbye” to the cast members, adding that “none of that was easy for anyone.”

“This is not the end, and we’re not erasing anything,” Horowitz said. “We miss them as much as you.”

The first two scenes from the Season 7 premiere were screened, and they show young Henry (Jared Gilmore) saying goodbye to Regina (Lana Parilla). He shows up later in the episode in his adult version (Andrew J. West) on a motorcycle, where he collides with Cinderella (Dania Ramirez).

Kitsis pointed out that the show would introduce a new version of Alice in Wonderland, who will be different from the one that fans met in the short-lived spinoff “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.”

Colin O’Donoghue (Hook) said that the new season has a very different feel on set for the cast.

“It almost feels like we’re all starting the show afresh together,” the actor said. “It’s kind of like we’re starting over.”

“Once Upon a Time” returns to ABC on Friday, Oct. 6.