With actor Sebastian Stan heading off to work on "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," ABC has had to start the search for someone else to play the kingdom-hopping Mad Hatter in "Once Upon a Time." And apparently, they like the character so much, they're thinking about a spinoff to the fantasy soap drama, according to THR.
ABC is owned by Disney who, of course, owns Marvel, and they don't want to mess with their next phase of movies with a casting disruption, meaning Stan's next batch of "Once Upon A Time" episodes would have to go to another actor (even though Stan and the showrunners wanted him to come back).
Could you imagine "Once Upon A Time" becoming a "Law & Order"-style franchise, with spinoffs and side characters? Series creators/executive producers Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis and the team of "Once Upon a Time" writers have successfully expanded the mythology of the series to include the possibility of multiple universes potentially based on other fairy tales, novels, and legends (it's kind of fuzzy just what kinds of stories get their own universes, but whatever).
ABC is still figuring out whether they're going to shoot a pilot, which would air later this season.
The Mad Hatter was introduced in the first season, able to jump between worlds before the curse robbed him and the residents of Storybrook of their memories and magic. Now that it's back, he should theoretically be able to create a new magic hat into which he can hop and travel to new worlds (so far, we've seen a world based on"Alice in Wonderland" and "Frankenstein" with hints about Never Never Land getting dropped this season).
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]