“Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” is one of ABC’s new drama pilots, coming as a limited series in the fall 2013, which the creators tell us will be a contained 13 episodes, though if it’s well-received, it’ll be back.
“We’re planning on telling a complete tale — beginning, middle and end,” says executive producer Adam Horowitz. “If people like it, hopefully we come back and tell another tale with this cast.”
“We’re going to … get a sense of the world with Alice’s return [to Wonderland],” adds EP Edward Kitsis. “You’re going to meet Jafar and more of the Red Queen and get a sense of the world.”
The Red Queen and Jafar are the “villains” of the piece, working together against Alice, the EPs tell Zap2it.
“[Jafar and the Red Queen] have an uneasy alliance. And like any partnership, with two villains, neither trusts the other,” says Kitsis. As for the Red Queen’s hatred of Alice, he calls it a “sisterly jealously, in a weird way.”
And he adds that the main question is, “What does the Red Queen really want and how is Jafar able to do it? What she truly wants is something she can’t get through magic and power alone.”
We also were curious how much of the source material the show will delve into — will we see other Lewis Carroll characters, like the White Queen or the Jabberwocky?
Horowitz: “There’s been talks about a lot of these things.”
Kitsis: “Jabberwocky especially.”
so much in the source material that hasn’t been touched on in popular culture and movies. We are so excited to go deep into that.”
Other highlights from the TCA panel include:
- “We hope to have Barbara Hershey in flashbacks,” referring to Hershey as the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland.
- ABC head Paul Lee teases that Alice is the most kick-butt Alice we’ve ever seen and actress Sophie Lowe confirms that — “She’s tough, mentally and physically. She can kick a** and look after herself.”
- “We have the hookah-smoking caterpillar, we have John Lithgow as the White Rabbit and you’ll see the Cheshire Cat in the pilot.”
- Sebastian Stan is pretty busy with other projects, but “there is an open door if he ever is available” to return as the Mad Hatter. “We would move heaven and earth to let him come back on either show.”
- “OUAT in Wonderland” is a “psychedelic romance,” “trippy and intense.”
Finally, Horowitz says of the Lewis Carroll books, “It’s honoring what came before and leaping off and trying to do our own spin and having as much fun as we can.”
“Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” premieres Thursday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.