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Curiouser and curiouser!

Once Upon A Time Has To Recast The Mad Hatter. Blame Captain America.

If you watch ABC’s Once Upon a Time you know they pull from all sorts of stories, not just the usual suspects, for their characters. We’ve seen a few glimpses of the realm called Wonderland but one of the people they’ve given extra attention to was the Mad Hatter (aka Jefferson). Actor Sebastian Stan had a recurring role on the show which is now causing the network a few problems since he has other obligations to fulfill. And did we mention they’re thinking about a spinoff for the Mad Hatter? 

The good news is, ABC loves the Mad Hatter. The bad news is, Stan can’t play him anymore. Why? Because he was lucky enough to land the role of Bucky in Captain America and has reprised that role in a big way in its sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Hollywood Reporter writes, “ABC and the producers hoped that Stan could have continued, but he was unavailable for long-term work.”

I’m going to reluctantly admit my brain didn’t make the connection between Bucky and Mad Hatter. For some reason I didn’t realize it was the same actor. I also haven’t seen Captain America since it was in theaters so that may be why. Regardless, the news really bums me out because Stan’s character was one of my favorites on Once Upon a Time (I have a fondness for Wonderland as a whole). And of course it makes me even more upset to hear ABC is considering a spinoff without Stan.

THR says, “Though the spinoff project is in the very early stages, ABC is mulling whether a short presentation will be filmed or a backdoor pilot will air later this season. It would be a late addition to ABC’s pilot pool and would be vying for a fall 2013 slot.” They also say executive producers Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis would act as showrunners for both series.

Though I will say this, if a spinoff means we get a show set entirely in Wonderland, I’m all in. What about you?

(via Hollywood Reporter)

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  • Anonymous

    Hunh. This is the second time there have been scheduling conflicts between Once Upon a Time and the Marvel Universe movies. Isn’t that why they had to recast Fandral in Thor 2, because of Josh Dallas’s role as Charming? These folks should really get their calendars in sync.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Oh yes, you’re right! I forgot I wrote about that here too:

  • John Burkhart

    Considerin they’re the same companies, I agree with @Lanehat.

    But I disagree with the article. I want a Mad Hatter spinoff to focus on his World Jumping days.

  • Amanda

    I’m beyond furious at all of this. Jefferson is easily my favorite character on the show and Sebastian is the reason Jefferson is pretty much universally well liked. Once can’t sustain a spinoff let alone a spin off with a recast fan favorite. Captain Hook would be a better candidate for a spinoff because Colin O’Donoghue has had the most press by a long shot and he’s got 300+ years of story material. Marvel contracts are pretty tough to break even if Sebastian didn’t want to continue on as Bucky. It’s a poor business decision and reflects badly on the creators who seem to think that the fans would actually appreciate the idea. Way to acknowledge your fanbase guys. If this is the only way we get to see more of the Mad Hatter, I am NOT interested.

  • Katie

    If they were going to do this couldn’t they wait a season for Stan to be available? Though it does make me wonder if they thought about that and they couldn’t because Marvel is possibly thinking about including Winter Soldier into Avengers 2 and want him to keep free just in case. Otherwise I’d think ABC could wait in order to keep part of the big draw of the Mad Hatter’s character.

  • Travis Fischer

    This news is a bummer. I think I’d rather they recast Bucky than the Hatter.

  • Jo


    wait… it’s a BIG captain america’s spoiler!

  • Katie Frederick

    I am so conflicted by this! On the one hand, Bucky Barnes is my absolute favorite comic character and I absolutely adore Sebastian as him so I’m glad that he’s sticking by that role. On the other, he is so wonderful as Jefferson as well. Why would they think that a Mad Hatter spin-off would ever work without the actor that made us love the character?

  • anthonybgonzalez

    not really…the Winter Soldier has been widely known to be the plot of the movie.

  • Katy

    I would not watch a spin off of the Hatter without Stan. He’s the reason I like the character.

  • Kol Drake

    Lately, I’ve thought jumping over half a century’s worth of Captain America stories directly to Winter Soldier is a bit extreme. Half of the story arc of Cap over that half century was all about losing Bucky during the war and his being a ‘man out of time’. Now, in the movies, he’s ‘back’ for the end of the first Cap movie, fights in Avengers and is immediately re-united with Bucky. Just seems too soon to me. (( of course, I keep seeing the second movie as — B&W news reel footage showing some WWII battle and Cap and Bucky rushing forward to lend a hand in a firestorm of bullets. B&W news footage blurs into color ‘you are there’ moment as we see it ‘in real time’. Flashback to movie theater and folks leaving… the one ‘remembering’ being Cap as Steve Rogers. Then, off to some rooftop action ala’ any of the better story arcs of the 70s or 80s.

  • Jo

    I know the history of Winter Soldier, I do not search spoilers, but I have heard a thing here or there, it does not bother me but might bother those who do not want to know any spoilers. So I should have explained myself better and told that the TITLE of the report can ruin something great for someone who did NOT want to know before seeing the movie.

  • Anonymous

    Incidentally, if you check out your DVD of CAPTAIN AMERICA you’ll see that Bucky’s date at their World’s Fair analog is none other than Jenna Louise Coleman of DOCTOR WHO fame.

  • Shara White

    Don’t blame JUST Captain America. According to TV Line, it’s also the actor’s Broadway schedule (a revival of the show Picnic) that’s causing issues too.

  • Anonymous

    A magical version of Sliders?

  • Cynthia

    Aw! Too bad. I’ve like this actor since the sadly short-lived “Kings” and enjoyed his turns on that Sigourney Weaver political mini-series & his guest shot on “Arrow”. He’s very good & thus wildly popular. Still, I’d think they’d be able to squeeze in his Jefferson on “Once Upon A Time” shoots around his film & Broadway schedule – they do it all the time.

  • Emma Joy Lee

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! He is my favorite character off Once Upon a Time (after Rumpelstiltskin/Gold). They already killed the Sheriff, who WAS my favorite character, so if they drop Sebastian Stan, my heart might break in two.

  • Fallon Walker

    The idea is not worth it without Sebastian Stan. He made that role. They’re just going to alienate their fanbase. Either wait until you can do it right, or don’t do it at all.

  • trawler trash.

    It’s in the NAME of the MOVIE.