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.
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.