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ABC has plans for its Sunday night hit Once Upon A Time. While fans might be happy about a potential spin-off with the Mad Hatter character, they probably won’t like the idea of Sebastian Stan not reprising the role.
According to Deadline, ABC once hoped that Stan, who played the Alice in Wonderland character in six episodes, could star in a series as the Hatter. However, the actor’s movie career is on the rise, so he couldn’t commit to a series.
The new plan is to recast the character and have him appear in an episode or two. This would test opinion among fans and, if the response is positive, the episodes could become a back-door pilot for a Mad Hatter series.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that this is still in the incredibly early stages, but ABC could get the idea moving so fast that a Hatter series could compete for a spot on the network’s fall 2013 schedule. Once Upon A Time producers Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis are guiding the potential project and have signed on to be showrunners.
Stan starred in Captain America: The First Avenger as ‘Bucky’ Barnes and is set to reprise the role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which hits theaters in 2014. The actor also finished Picnic on Broadway and starred in Political Animals.
If the Mad Hatter project materializes, it will be the latest spin-off from the major networks for next season. CBS has a NCIS: LA spin-off in the works, while The CW is working on The Vampire Diaries’ The Originals spin-off.