(CBR) At New York Comic Con, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz – the co-creators of ABC/Disney’s hit TV show "Once Upon A Time" – took a break from greeting fans dressed as fairies, evil queens and blonde bounty hunters to discuss their twisted fairytale series and its Alice-meets-Aladdin spinoff, "Once Upon A Time in Wonderland."
“We were telling the Mad Hatter story when we went to Wonderland for the first time. That world seemed so rich and something to explore,” Horowitz said, diving straight into the reason author Lewis Carroll’s characters were so quickly spun off into their own series after being introduced in an episode last season. “We thought about the character of Alice, and when we had ideas about the character, there were so many, it didn’t seem worth trying to shoehorn [them] in to ‘Once,’ which we had a plan for the story we were telling and where that’s going to go. So it sat in the back of our brains, and when ABC gave us the opportunity to develop a spinoff, that seemed like a no-brainer place to go.”
While the first two seasons of the original series stuck mainly to the public domain world of fairytales created by now-anonymous authors (with the occasional Disney reference thrown in for fun), season three of "Once" is steeped in J.M. Barrie’s "Peter Pan," while "Wonderland" is firmly set in Carroll’s fictional world. Asked if the co-creators were planning any flashbacks showing the authors meeting their “fictional” characters, the two explained that questions surrounding the magic vs. non-magic realms were central to both shows.
“That’s a really fascinating question and it’s interesting; the relationship between the world of story and our world is one we do intend to continue to explore on the show,” Horowitz said. “I think that’s one of the fascinating relationships that lurk beneath the surface.”
“And one of the main questions we haven’t answered is, who wrote the book?” Kitsis added, citing the magical book explaining the history of all the fairytales which has proven central to Once’s overall storyline.
“That’s all related,” Horowitz continued. “Inspiration has to come from somewhere, and I think the relationship between all the realms is at the heart of what makes the 'Once Upon A Time' world tick.”
While there is obviously a lot of attention being paid to the happenings in 'Wonderland,' the co-creators remain dedicated to continuing to build the world presented in the original series, promising viewers more information on Pan and his crew, especially Felix, Pan’s number two Lost Boy and, in Horowitz’s words, “Kool-Aid drinker number one!”
“What we want to show you with Pan [is] not just Neverland, but his past, what makes him tick and how he did reach out and bring children and Lost Boys to Neverland,” Horowitz said.
“In a broader sense, we’re going to explore how lost boys became Lost Boys in episode four,” Kitsis added.
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