Monday, July 25, 2011

ABC's Once Upon a Time at Comic-Con

I love how both series producers of Grimm and Once Upon a Time are loving the public domain aspect of fairy tales...

From 'Once Upon A Time' gets 'Lost' in a fairy tale by Liane Bonin Starr:

While reaction to the screening of "Once Upon A Time" was warm, there were certainly a few fanboys who whipped out their cell phones to amuse themselves rather than dive into the pilot, which introduces the idea of what happens when fairy tale characters are, through the curse of an evil witch, stuck living out mundane lives in small town Maine. The pilot was solid but, if fairy tales make you groan or are just too Disney-ingrained for your taste, it's likely a hard sell. The "real life" fates of characters like Snow White and the evil witch are certainly clever (and performances are strong across the board, especially from Lana Parrilla ("24"), Jennifer Morrison ("House") and Robert Carlyle ("The Full Monty"), even the clever little touches (a bowl of apples on the modern-day evil witch's table, for example) are perhaps already too familiar. For the fanboy-heavy audience, though, fairy tales (even by the "Lost" guys) may have been just a little too girly. Blame Disney princesses.

After the screening, the creators discussed how the project came after they were briefly unemployed following "Felicity"'s cancelation. "Our agent said, 'you need a new sample.' And we started to think about fairy tales. We liked them, and they're like a lottery ticket. You buy them and you think your life will change," said Kitsis.

The pair didn't bristle (too much) when several fans mentioned similar TV and comic book projects that cover the same terrain, including the 2000 miniseries "The 10th Kingdom. "As we said, we had this idea from 2002 and to be fair, I never saw the 2000 miniseries, but now I want to to see what I can steal from it," Kitsis joked.

But don't expect any huge "Lost"-like jumps out of the fairty tale arena. Prince Charming (and his modern version) are here to stay. "One of the great things is everyone knows these stories, and that's why they keep getting told," Horowitz explained.

Kitsis added the more practical reality: "That, and they're public domain."

From ABC's 'Once Upon a Time' juggles real, fairy-tale worlds by Bill Keveney:

Comic-Con fans responded enthusiastically to a pilot screening of ABC's Once Upon a Time, a story of characters who live in two worlds, a fairy-tale one one and the real one.

"We really have every week a back-and-forth between both worlds," executive producer Edward Kitsis said. "It's not a retelling of fairy tales. We're telling you the parts you didn't know."

Fairy tale characters include Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), Prince Charming (Josh Dallas),the evil queen (Lana Parrilla), Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) and Jiminy Cricket (Raphael Sbarge). Each actor portrays a character in the real-world town of Storybrooke, too. Jennifer Morrison also stars as Emma, a real-world character who may be the missing daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming and the key to unlocking a fairy-tale world frozen in time.

The show will share some characteristics with Lost, including a deep mythology and many clues for the faithful. The pilot featured a couple of numbers that referenced Lost's famous digits. "We'll give a shoutout here and there," Kitsis said.

The producers don't want to make it too demanding, however, for more casual viewers. "We hope there's a little bit of balance, but it's hard not to inject mystery," Horowitz said.

"Viewers can put their slippers on" and relax, Kitsis said. "Or take out a magnifying glass."

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