The cast and creative minds behind Once Upon a Time were on handSaturday at the show's Comic-Con panel to tease the upcoming Neverland-centric third season.
The show went back into production two weeks ago, with the cast shooting on the Jolly Roger as their characters head to Neverland in search of Henry (Jared Gilmore), who was kidnapped by Greg (Ethan Embry) and Tamara (Sonequa Martin-Green) in the season finale. While the cast joked that they're having a good time on the Jolly Roger, Kitsis noted the characters might not be having as much fun.
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We'll finally get to see Neverland in Season 3 as the series brings the Jolly Roger crew into murky waters in the presence of Peter Pan, who has not yet been cast. "It is a fantastical island," executive producer Edward Kitsis said. "It's the place where imagination comes from, so it's the place where anything can happen."
Ominously, Peter Pan's Lost Boys had a sketch of Henry, who the man in charge has been searching for over the last few centuries. "Peter Pan has a complicated motivation," executive producerAdam Horowitz said. Kitsis added: "He might be frightening for some people."
Additionally, we'll also meet Tinker Bell this season, but the fans must believe to see her! "It's taking the icon and putting our spin on it," Horowitz notes of the character. "How we introduce her,and who she is, is hopefully going to be surprising because we're going to find she has a surprising connection to someone at this table."
As the group fights their way to Neverland, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) will be have a hard time as she attempts to fix her blackened heart. "Now, it's a matter of finding again who she is," Goodwin says. Unfortunately, the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) is along for the ride — and though she planned to sacrifice herself in the finale, she may not have turned completely good. (Parrilla noted that her favorite kill on the series is coming in Season 3.)
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Meanwhile, Bae (Michael Raymond-James) fell through the portal in the Enchanted Forest and was last seen clinging onto life. Will he be saved? "He's had a rough go, but it's getting better," James said. Kitsis noted that the last thing Bae did was tell Emma (Jennifer Morrison) he loved her. "Unfortunately for him, Emma is with Captain Hook [Colin O'Donoghue]," Kitsis says. Though O'Donoghue said it may be time for Hook to get over Milah, Joshua Dallasquickly interjected, "Not with my daughter."
Back in Storybrooke, Belle (Emilie de Ravin) will apparently holddown the fort, but don't expect the stories to be completely separate. "What's happening back in Storybrooke and what's happening in Neverland, we're going to find are connected in a surprising way," Horowitz said. Kitsis also noted that Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) is on a suicide mission since the prophecy says he has to sacrifice himself to save Henry, which is why he left Belle behind so he can face his death alone.
Additionally, fans were treated to a sneak preview of the upcoming season, which featured Grumpy (Lee Arenberg) sitting down to have lunch on Storybrooke's coast when his fork mysteriously went missing. It was stolen by a mischievous mermaid with flaming red hair. Welcome to Once, Ariel!
Once Upon a Time returns Sunday, Sept. 29 at 8/7c on ABC.