Once Upon a Time Bosses Tease New Villains for This Winter

***May contain spoilers if you are not up to date with the US viewing of Once Upon a Time***

Once Upon a Time will soon be saying goodbye to Frozen but the fairy tale series won’t be lacking villains for too long. A dastardly trio of familiar faces will be making their debut in the winter finale with Maleficent (Kristen Bauer), Ursula (Merrin Dungey) and Cruella de Vil (Victoria Smurfit) better known as the Queens of Darkness.

EW: How do you choose the next character you’re going to use?
ADAM HOROWITZ: Well, we have a giant dartboard. No. We have a lot of characters that we want to explore and have been on our wish list ever since the first couple of episodes in season 1. As we developed each season, we looked at who fits into our world, who fits into our mythology, how can we continue to build that out and what characters are the most fun to do that.
EDWARD KITSIS: For this one, we saw in the first half of the season that Regina (Lana Parrilla) was really questioning whether or not villains could get happy endings. So we knew we wanted the second half to be villains in search of their happy endings. We always wanted to bring Maleficent back. We thought, “What is the greatest team of evil we could gather to go up against?” Ursula we teased in the Ariel (Joanna Garcia Swisher) episode last year, and then Cruella, for a while, we just always wanted to bring her on the show and couldn’t figure out how because in the movie, she was kind of ’50s. You always want to put your twist on it. For us, Cruella just fit into this trio of terror.

Do you have a long term plan or list of characters you want to see on the series?
HOROWITZ: Absolutely. We have a list of characters who we want to get to, even in varying degrees of details. With some, we know very much how they fit into our mythology and how we want them to be apart of the show. Some are like, “Oh, wouldn’t it be fun to meet them for an episode?” type characters.
KITSIS: Kind of like how we did with Little Bo Peep [Robin Weigert].
HOROWITZ: Hook is an example of a character that we knew wanted to be a big part of the show.
KITSIS: Same with Robin Hood [Sean Maguire].
HOROWITZ: They were characters that we waited [to put on]. For Hook, it was a rights issue; with Robin Hood, it was a timing issue. There are other characters that, if we’re lucky enough to keep going, we want to see.

These are three very strong and malevolent characters, each a Queen of Darkness in their own right. Can they actually work together?
HOROWITZ: That’s part of the fun—these strong women with slightly aligned agendas, but wanting things for themselves, and watching the sparks fly between them.
KITSIS: You have three leaders who all want to lead. Of course, only one can. For us, what’s interesting is watching villains take a page from the hero playbook. Heroes always work together and never put their ego first. Villains so often put their ego first and lose. These are smarter villains coming back to correct the mistakes from their past.

To read the full interview go to Entertainment Weekly.

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