The Mad Hatter could be getting his own show.
ABC is considering a Once Upon a Time spin-off that would center on Wonderland's most eccentric hatter, TVGuide.com has confirmed. But there's a catch: Sebastian Stan wouldn't actually star in the potential series.
Keeping track of Once Upon a Time's family tree
As first reported by Deadline.com, Stan cannot make a commitment to doing a spin-off, so the Once bosses are looking into recasting him — a move that drew some vitriol on Twitter Friday evening. Stan's debut in the Season 1 episode "Hat Trick" — which featured the fantastical world of Wonderland, and Roger Daltrey as the voice of the Caterpillar — was wildly lauded, leading to several more appearances from Stan.
The potential spin-off is only in the early stages, with the network undecided on whether they'll test a new Hatter in an episode of Once that would serve as a backdoor pilot or film a short presentation.
Lightning Round 5: Once Upon a Time bosses answer your burning questions
Either way, it begs the question of how the spin-off would fit into the timeline of Once. Will it be a prequel before the curse was enacted that features the years he was stranded by Regina (Lana Parrilla) in Wonderland? Or maybe even further before that to show the story of how he lost his wife? Maybe executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, who will also act as showrunners on the spin-off should it go forward, will make it a continuation of Once, with the show sending Jefferson/Mad Hatter, and possibly his daughter Grace, back to Wonderland, where the Queen of Hearts no longer reigns — Cora (Barbara Hershey) is now in Storybrooke with her daughter Regina, after all.
What story do you think the Once spin-off should tell? Would you still watch it without Stan? And who do you think could play the new Mad Hatter? Hit the comments!
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.