Whether we like it or not — some of us do, some of us don’t — we’ve been seeing a lot of non-fairytale characters introduced this season on Once Upon a Time — first Mulan, then Lancelot, and now Captain Hook.
In what may be good or bad news — depending upon how you feel about this trend to widen the character base — show creators Ed Kitsis and Adam Horowitz told Entertainment Weekly, in an interview published last night, that they will be introducing many new characters who come from stories that are not fairytales.
Specific details are after the jump (spoilers).
We can count on seeing someone(s) from The Wizard of Oz. When asked about Oz, Kitsis/Horowitz answered:
Kitsis: We’ve been talking about Oz since Day 1. Look at the pilot. One of the pages of Henry’s book shows flying monkeys. And in Jefferson’s hat there seemed to be an emerald curtain.
Horowitz: Oz is another “when,” not “if.”
Another sure thing (this one you may have already heard about) is the Little Mermaid:
Kitsis: Absolutely. We’re waiting for the right moment. You don’t want it to be just one episode.
Horowitz: It’s already woven into the fabric of what we’re doing; the only question is when.
It sounds like Robin Hood is also a strong possibility. When that name was brought up, these were the responses:
Horowitz: Definitely in-bounds.
When asked about Achilles, Horowitz answered, “He’s on the border. Possible.” So the creators are willing to reach into Greek mythology for characters. That surprised me. Although they already have used a mythological character, King Midas, I thought that was just going to be a one-time thing. Now it sounds like it might not be.
This surprised me too: K & H originally wanted the Sheriff to be Sherlock Holmes! The only reason they didn’t go ahead with that is because they couldn’t get the rights to the character:
Kitsis: Here’s something interesting. Originally the sheriff was Sherlock Holmes. He was going to be a detective and his curse was he was in a town with no mystery. So he was this bored sheriff. And there was a rights issue so we could not get it.
The only characters who got strong thumbs down in the interview were Genghis Khan (“too historical”), Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean (they’d need Johnny Depp to do it), and Mickey Mouse (“He’s been on the show — in phone form. I can’t ever see how he’d get on and feel real.”)
Some names that elicited ambiguous responses were Captain Ahab of Moby Dick (H: “I like Ahab.” K: “You never know.”) and Tarzan (K: “Never talked about Tarzan. But in a world where The Jungle Book exists, I don’t know why Tarzan couldn’t either.”)
(You can read the full EW interview here: ‘Once Upon’ Showrunners Reveal Which Famous Characters They’d Consider Adding)
It sounds like any fictional character is now fair game. In some of the possiblities they mentioned, Kitsis and Horowitz are roaming far from the fairytale world. While it may be a short step from fairytales to other stories set in fantasy worlds, such as The Wizard of Oz or Tarzan, it’s a longer step to go from fairytales to stories such as the Sherlock Holmes tales and Moby Dick, which are set much more firmly in realistic environments.
What do you think about this trend to incorporate more non-fairytale characters into the show? We already started discussing this after last night’s episode, which introduced Captain Cook, and there were different opinions. Some people welcomed the new characters, while others were apprehensive that the sprawling character base could ruin the show.