Warning: The following article contains spoilers from Once Upon a Time’s sixth season finale and beyond.
Once Upon a Time producers have revealed that the seventh season will move beyond Storybrooke into a “new world”, with a “new hero” at the forefront.
This past weekend’s season six finale almost completely reshaped the storyline by writing out main characters in Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White), Emilie de Ravin (Belle), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming) and Jared Gilmore (Henry). Click here for a spoiler-filled recap.
Now we’re finding out that the next season will jump forward a decade in time to a now-grown Henry Mills (Andrew J. West) on a mission to save a whole new world.
“While there are some characters returning and some not returning, it’s still the same universe, and it’s still the same kind of storytelling,” co-showrunner Adam Horowitz revealed to Entertainment Weekly. “It’s just that we’re going to be coming at it from a little bit of a different angle. It’s not going to be necessarily Storybrooke-based.”
His partner Edward Kitsis went on to tease: “Also, what we see is, a new hero is leading us into a new world, which is an adult Henry Mills. We saw that in what we realise are flash forwards, and then at the very end, Henry has grown up and he looks like he left home.
“He was an Author writing everyone else’s story, so to me it looks like he left home to find his own story and then something happened, and now he’s got to be the hero.”
“It’s a little bit of the continuity between the two iterations of the show, which is Henry,” Horowitz added. “Henry has been the heart of the show from the beginning. Jared was amazing, and we couldn’t love him move; watching him grow up has been amazing.
“Now, we’re going to see what that character becomes in a 10-years-older version. But he’s still going to be that character and still carry that essence of the show and be the centre of the family that’s at the heart of the show.”
Once Upon a Time will also maintain continuity by drafting familiar faces Lana Parrilla (Regina), Robert Carlyle (Rumplestiltskin) and Colin O’Donoghue (Hook) into this new adventure.
There will also be a one-episode return for Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), leading to some speculation that Emma could be killed off. The co-showrunners don’t want you to start worrying just yet.
“We’re not trying to destroy people’s happiness right now, but we’re going to be telling a new version,” Edward Kitsis said. “But until they see that, they won’t understand what it is. So for us, we’d rather not whip people into a frenzy.”
“I’d like to underscore that for a second: Really we wanted the audience to not think about what we’re doing as throwing away what came before, but building on and expanding from it, so that what happened and what they’ve lived with and what they’ve invested in all these years still really matters; it matters to us as writers and we know it matters to so much of the audience,” Horowitz explained.
“We want them to know that we do really respect that and we really do approach the story from that level. We’re not just clearing a playing field and starting over willy-nilly. We’re trying to tell these new stories and expand our canvas, but also honour what’s come before.”
Once Upon a Time airs on ABC in the US. Netflix streams the show in the UK.
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