‘Once Upon A Time’ scoop: ‘Aladdin’ sneak peek and SDCC 2016 round-up

ONCE UPON A TIME – Executive producers and cast of “Once Upon a Time” were featured at the Comic-Con Convention in San Diego, California, on July 23, 2016.  JARED GILMORE, REBECCA MADER, EMILIE DERAVIN, JOSH DALLAS, LANA PARILLA, JENNIFER MORRISON, COLIN O’DONOGHUE, ADAM HOROWITZ (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), EDWARD KITSIS (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), YVETTE NICOLE BROWN (MODERATOR) (Photo credit: ABC/Todd Wawrychuk via Disney Press Site.)


Are you excited, Oncers? I sure am! To be totally honest, ‘”Once Upon A Time” has had its ups and downs over the seasons and I haven’t been in love with all of their fairytale storylines/twists. BUT Season 6 is shaping up to be pretty awesome and I’m really psyched to see how these new storylines/character arcs are going to unfold. Let’s go over some upcoming goodies and squee with splendor…

Aladdin and Jasmine are coming!!! Huzzah! After five seasons of asking if and when, their time has finally arrived. During ‘OUAT’s’ San Diego Comic Con panel this past Saturday(July 23, 2016), ABC revealed some major casting news and debuted a sneak peek of the opening scene from Season 6’s premiere episode, “The Savior” (watch it HERE). Our first look at Aladdin who is played by Turkish-Australian actor Deniz Akdeniz, (hence the Aussie accent) is troubling because this new savior is not in the best shape. He seems injured (what happened to his hand?) and down on his luck (why is he hiding in the middle of the desert?). If we’ve learned anything from “Once,” it’s that a hero’s life is never easy. To make matters worse, Jafar (recast with Oded Fehr) flies in on his magic carpet (way better graphics than before, phew!) and kicks the Savior while he’s down.

Okay, some things to note about recasting Jafar with Fehr because it really is a brilliant move. I’ve been a fan of Fehr’s ever since “The Mummy” and, to be frank, I think he is better suited in this role than “Once Upon A Time in Wonderland’s” Naveen Andrews. (Side note: Adam Horowitz clarified on Twitter that “OUATIW” is still part of the cannon.) It’s not that Andrews did a bad job, but judging from this brief clip, Fehr is clearly an upgrade. Not only does he look the part, but he particularly shines in roles that keep you guessing. Even when he’s playing a bad guy, there is something still appealing about him. He’s charismatic. It’s the same reason why we can’t help but root for Robert Carlyle’s Rumple, if another actor was in his shoes, I’d probably be more inclined to dislike The Dark One. ‘OUAT’ is great at giving iconic villains a chance at redemption. Perhaps Jafar will join the others on the path to enlightenment. But for now, he’s a total baddie (you don’t slam women against walls, it’s beyond poor form!).

Let’s face it, Season 6 starts on a downer. A little bit of dialogue goes a long way. Aladdin was a thief who became a hero because, even though he stole, he was still a man of honor (remind you of anyone? cough Captain Hook cough Robin Hood cough). Our Arabian/Aussie knight is so miserable that he tells Jafar to go ahead and kill him already. That’s not very heroic, but then again, a Savior’s life always seems doomed. Jafar continues tormenting Aladdin by revealing his destiny:

“It’s the fate of Saviors. You give and give and give and for what? They pick the fruits, they cut the branches, and all that’s left is this shaky stump. Always. That’s why you never ever hear these words about a Savior: ‘They lived happily ever after’.”

Ouch! Geesh, Jafar, we get the point. Now I’m feeling depressed. Jafar struts off, satisfied that he knocked his nemesis down a peg. Meanwhile, we’re left looking at Aladdin’s trembling hand. As the lens distorts, we are not quite sure what to make of it. Is his hand transforming? Is he ill? Is he shaking from some kind of spell or magical withdrawal? We have so many questions!

Now for some more good news! “Galavant’s” beloved Princess Isabella aka Karen David has been cast as Jasmine. Yay! Not only has Jasmine been her dream role, but fans have been clamoring for David to get the part ever since we saw her kick ass on “Galavant.” She has not begun filming yet, so we don’t know much about her role. Since she isn’t by Aladdin’s side in the sneak peek, we can’t help but wonder if Jasmine is a part of the reason why Aladdin is in such bad shape. Saviors make great sacrifices for the ones they love, especially when it is a matter their One True Love. It will all be very exciting to see. Of course, now #MoreGalavant hopefuls are trying to recruit other “Galavant” stars onto “Once Upon A Time.” Hey, you can’t blame us for wanting a special musical episode filled with a combo of our favorite stars (Seriously, just check it out on Twitter, fans and cast members are bantering about #MoreGalavant on #OnceUponATime).

We’re thrilled to see how Aladdin and Jasmine’s story will play out, but they are not the only newbies coming to Storybrooke. Last week, EW exclusively reported that Giles Matthey will play Morpheus. According to Greek mythology, he is the god of dreams. EW explains, “He’s equally good at reading people as he is at hiding his own agenda. He will be doing what Morpheus does best — guiding people through the world of dreams.” Since Belle is still under the sleeping curse it seems that Morpheus will be interacting with her and Rumple. Maybe Morpheus will act as Cupid and rekindle RumBelle’s embers, so his True Love’s Kiss can wake this sleeping beauty.

A second EW exclusive reveals that another literary icon will be coming to life: the Count of Monte Cristo! Alexander Dumas’ classic tale of love, betrayal, and revenge is one of my personal favorites, so I’m really excited to see Edmund Dantes get his justice in the world of ‘OUAT.’ Craig Horner (“Legend of the Seeker” and “Hindsight”) makes his debut in Episode 2, “A Bitter Draught.” We don’t know anything about his storyline just yet, but we all know that revenge is a dish best served cold. Whoever wronged Dantes in Storybrooke better watch out!

So far, the Land of Untold Stories is lining up some stellar tales. Can’t wait to see what else they have in store for Season 6! For more SDCC highlights check out TVLine’s panel coverage HERE and a video with interview with Michael Assiello and the cast HERE. You can also enjoy more SDCC videos of the cast posted on YouTube by “The Magic is Power” HERE and some press room videos from Whedonopolis HERE. Check out Entertainment Weekly’s summary of ‘OUAT’s’ SDCC panel (HERE) for some fun Season 6 teasers on Captain Swan, Regina v The Evil Queen, Robin Hood’s possible return (okay, so he’s totally dead, but we can always have flashbacks) and more!

And now, in true ‘OUAT’ form, I will leave you with this ominous Evil Queen/Regina teaser HERE. Oncers can all agree on one thing, double the Lana Parrilla will be double the fun! Cruel world, indeed…or not. We’ll just wait and see.

Hit me with your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter and keep this convo going! What other literary characters would you like to see? Since we’re meeting the Counte of Monte Cristo, do you think we might see other Dumas characters, like “The Musketeers” or “The Man in the Iron Mask”? (By the way, all three seasons of BBC/BBC America’s phenomenal series, “The Musketeers,” are on Hulu. If it’s you like that sort of thing, check it out. It’s another one of my favorite shows!). What sort of past do these newcomers share with our Storybrooke Heroes?

6 thoughts on “‘Once Upon A Time’ scoop: ‘Aladdin’ sneak peek and SDCC 2016 round-up

  1. I’m certainly excited for the upcoming season. I am upset they killed off Merlin, I liked him but I suppose his storyline was done.

    1. Yeah, I was also bummed that they made King Arthur a bad guy. I really wanted Merlin and Arthur to be friends. Had high expectations for that storyline, so I understand. It’s especially sad to see such a powerful and iconically magical figure fall.

      1. Yes, I was expecting them to be friends as well. I think I would’ve liked it better if perhaps they were friends & something changed things but sadly it didn’t turn out that way. I noticed they did try to redeem Arthur by having him save Hook. I wanted more from that storyline. I suppose a trip to fanfiction may be needed or I could write my own. 😊

      2. Haha yeah, sometimes fans need to take these stories into their own hands. I have high hopes for S6, so I really hope they don’t disappointed. I’ll be upset if they vilify the Count of Monte Cristo because he doesn’t just want revenge, he wants justice for being so cruelly wronged. And of course Aladdin is precious Disney gold, so they have to get that right, done great with casting so far 😊

      3. That’s true. I’ve high hopes for S6 as well. I remember S3 w/Peter Pan being excited & while it was alright the storyline kind of dragged after a while. The same sort of happened with the Frozen storyline. Yes, I hope they do Count of Monte Cristo well. I’ve been waiting for Aladdin and Jasmine to show up since Genie/Mirror appeared. When I heard there’d be a spin-off I was thrilled & hoped they would show up since Jafar was featured. I’m somewhat pleased with the recast of Jafar but it’s as if the spin-off never happened I suppose. I didn’t finish the series so I don’t know.

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