Once Upon a Time in Wonderland‘s panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 included an exclusive sneak peek of the pilot and a surprise special guest.
The panel included executive producers Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, and Zach Estrin, as well as Sophie Lowe (Alice), Michael Socha (Knave), Peter Godiot (Cyrus), Emma Rigby (Queen of Hearts), and special guest Naveen Andrews (Jafar).
The panel began with a 19 minute preview of the pilot episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. During the preview, we learned that Alice’s story actually began in Storybrook and that the white rabbit and the Knave left when it was being attacked in order to rescue Alice from an asylum.
The rest of the preview consisted of flashbacks of Alice and Cyrus the genie falling in love and subsequently losing each other when they were attacked by the Red Queen. Although Alice thought Cyrus died when the Red Queen threw him over the cliff, by the end of the first 20 minutes there’s some significant evidence that disproves this.
In the final few minutes we see the Knave attempt to rescue Alice and find out pretty quickly that she doesn’t need him to protect her. We see a great sequence of Alice fighting off the guards, followed up a continuation of some hilarious banter between her and the Knave.
After the clip, it was announced that the show wanted to delve deeper into the genie mythology. This is when the moderator suggested Naveen Andrews (Lost), and the audience was surprised by a special appearance from the actor. Andrews will be playing Jafar, who has been promised to be a terrifying character.
In terms of the longevity of this project, the executive producers stated that Wonderland will be an open and closed story in the first season. If it is successful, they will continue into season 2 with the same mentality. Season 2, if it does happen, will include the same cast.
In terms of the way Wonderland will play out, we learned that we will get more information about how Alice ended up in the asylum, who her father is, how she got to Wonderland, why Jafar is involved, and more. “All killer, no filler” is what Kitsis said to describe the show.
Many fans were curious if we would see any crossover from Once Upon a Time into the spinoff show. The EPs stated that they would love to have the Queen of Hearts (Cora played by Barbara Hershey) be present in the show, and hinted that the Red Queen may have studied under her. Additionally, they are leaving the door open for Sebastian Stan to return as the Mad Hatter, but it will depend on his schedule.
Overall, the Hypable staff that attended the panel greatly enjoyed the clip we got to watch and think Wonderland will be an excellent accompaniment to the fabulous Once Upon a Time.