Once Upon a Time Season 3 Scoop: Jumping to Neverland, Captain Swan Shipping and More!

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Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have built quite a world in the past two seasons of their hit series Once Upon a Time.

And from what I gathered moderating a panel with the producers at the ATX Television Festival in Austin earlier this month, the guys have more up their respective sleeves than even the dastardly Rumplestiltskin.

Following a juicy Neverland-relayed cliffhanger to close out Once Upon a Time Season 2, Horowitz and Kitsis are just getting started on crafting Season 3, while also dedicating time to their much-anticipated spinoff, Wonderland.

All Shocked

Here are the high points of what I was able to get out of Adam and Eddy during our panel:

“I think you can say it’s pretty much a direct pickup,” said Horowitz of where Once Upon a Time Season 3 will start. “I think that what you saw at the end of the finale is the jumping off point.” Watch for our good and bad characters to have to work together to get Henry back in Neverland.

For the Captain Swan fans out there: is there hope for romance to blossom? “The thing I like about Captain Hook in the finale is he started to look back on his life and he was like, ‘maybe I’ve wasted it.” So here you’ve got a guy who wants a new chance,” Kitsis said, reminding us that - at least at the start of the season - Emma believes that Neal is dead.

Back in Once Upon a Time Season 1, it was established that Gold “is a difficult man to love and that is his character,” said Kitsis. “I think for all these characters, I know it was supposed to break the curse and return their happy endings [but] they’re still in search of their happy endings.”

Gold will still be torn between good and evil in the new season, Kitsis and Horowitz said, and that includes, perhaps, having to decide to do with his grandson, Henry, who he knows has been said to be his ultimate undoing.

“It’s going to be another challenge in their relationship,” Horowitz said of Gold being on the ship on its way to Neverland and Belle being left behind. Are all the magic beans gone now? Horowitz and Kitsis took a moment before answering with a simple “Yes.”

Will we see more of Emma’s magic? Horowitz joked that she’ll be getting a show in Vegas but “She’s going to ask the question, why do I have magical capabilities, what does it really mean to be the savior and we’re going to dive a lot deeper into Emma’s character and we’re going to see a lot more of her past like we did this year.”

“One of the things that we’re most excited about,” Kitsis said of the new season, “this year we’re going to do 11 episodes in fall and 11 in spring and we’re approaching it like two seasons.” The plan is to run each block of 11 episodes without a break or reruns.

One piece of trivia that came out during the panel: did you know the first TV writing job for Kitsis and Horowitz had together was the unsuccessful reboot of Fantasy Island on ABC back in 1998? They also wrote on Birds of Prey, Felicity and, of course, Lost, before launching Once Upon a Time in 2010.

So, what are you most excited for heading into the fall? Sound off now in our Once Upon a Time forum.

UPDATE: The Season 3 premiere will be titled "The Heart of the Truest Believer."

UPDATE: The first OUAT Season 3 teaser has been released.

UPDATE: Rose McIver has been cast as Tinkerbell.

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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No Captain Swan!!! Emma and Neal deserve to be together and Hook should be with Regina. They have way more in common and it would be a better love story since all they have gone through!

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I am all for seeing more of Emma, last season i feel like we saw her less. Also definately ship Captain Swan, to me that makes sense and two broken people falling for each other, who have the connection and understanding!

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I just want to see more of Emma's and Regina's dynamic again. It was so central to the show in season 1 and I enjoyed it tremendously. They have this great sort of chemistry where they work really well together when they argue and fight over something (Henry, how to go about something, or even small every day things), but there is also always a hint of a deeper layer and even sort of parallelism - a bit like as if they're two sides of the same coin at times. I'm not saying I want them to be bffs now, but I think the show has made a very good choice by moving their relationship to a new place in the season finale and it will be so interesting to see where it goes from there. Lana Parrilla and Jennifer Morrison are always fab together, but if the writing supports them a little more again, like in season 1, it should be brilliant. Especially if Regina is the one who gets to train Emma in magic.

Spindae-2o

I like the idea of 2x11 episodes. the breaks really killed S2. and the transition from the Emma and Snow lost story to Greg and Tamara story was pretty bad. And some things have to come clear why did Tamara and Greg take Henry to Peter Pan ? Cause they hate magic and they are working for some 3rd party. Hopefully Regina will teach some magic to Emma. She needs it.

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I'm really looking forward to the start of the season. The dynamics should be off the charts. First you have Hook with Gold and Regina, the first who his been after forever and the second who just tried to kill him in the dragons pit. Then there's the Charming's and Regina who have a volatile relationship to say the least. And that leads us to Emma and Hook who've had an amazing repartee since the get go and their chemistry is off the charts....wonder how Daddy Charming is going to take to that?? I'm glad the show is going to put the focus back on the core with bandit Snow and especially Emma(she's my favorite). And I can't wait to see more of the dynamic between her and a certain pirate.

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Come on Captain Swan...fingers crossed (love them together!)That relationship was actually what got a few of my friends to watch the show! Dying to see how all of our heroes do together in a small space (with a shared mission)!! Season 3 sounds like it's off to a great start.

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Season 3 is sounding really exciting. I hope they really are planning to focus on the core characters the way it sounds. A ship with Hook/Emma/Gold/Snow/Charming/Regina forced to work together offers up so many great possibilities. I'm really excited to hear Emma will be a big focus again. Last year her biggest episodes ended up being more about introducing Neal than Emma. I'm excited for OUAT's return.

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