Cruella De Vil, Ursula and Maleficent Join Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time

Once Upon a Time may be saying goodbye to Frozen, but the ABC fairy tale series won’t be void of villains for very long: A trio of evil familiar faces will make their debut in Sunday’s winter finale. Here is your first look at Maleficent (Kristin Bauer Van Straten), Ursula (Merrin Dungey) and Cruella de Vil (Victoria Smurfit), otherwise known as the Queens of Darkness.

From an EW interview:

You’re saying these villains are teaming up to get their happy ending. Isn’t it a catch 22? To get their happy ending, aren’t they inevitably going to do something evil?

HOROWITZ: Happy ending doesn’t necessarily equal redemption, because happy endings are in the eye of the beholder.
KITSIS: Yeah, it’s what makes you happy. For instance, if watching two beloved heroes die makes you happy, well then your happy ending is probably different than the two heroes who want to see the villain die.

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.

Let’s talk about Cruella de Vil. Can you say what world she comes from?

KITSIS: We’re kind of taking some liberty there. We’re going to realize that our Cruella may have originated from the Enchanted Forest, and we may find out she has some magic of her own. She’s part villain, part Zelda Fitzgerald. There’s something glamorous and jazz age, but something very deadly about her as well.
HOROWITZ: She’s a fun character for us. We hopefully found a way to spin it and make her different and part of the Once universe while also having plenty of nods of the iconography of Cruella that everybody loves.

Is heroes vs. villains a fair descriptor for the second half of the season?

KITSIS: Absolutely. That is the title of episode 11.
HOROWITZ: It’s “Heroes and Villains.”
KITSIS: That’s actually named after the Beach Boys song.
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