The INSIDER Summary:
- Jennifer Morrison told fans on Facebook she’s leaving ABC’s “Once Upon A Time.”
- She plays the show’s lead, Emma Swan, the daughter of Prince Charming and Snow White.
- Morrison said if the show gets a seventh season, she’ll appear in one episode.
- The show’s finale is May 14 and she’s expected to fight in a giant battle.
- It could be an opportunity for the show to kill off her character.
Emma Swan may have just gotten her happy ending on “Once Upon A Time” in a fairytale wedding to Captain Hook, but it looks like it will be very shortlived.
Actress Jennifer Morrison, who plays Swan on the hit ABC series, told fans she’s planning to leave the show after six seasons.
In a lengthy Facebook message, Morrison said her six-year contract with the show has finally ended. While she was invited to continue on the show, she decided to part ways with “Once Upon a Time.”
“After very careful consideration, I have decided that creatively and personally, it is time for me to move on,” Morrison wrote on Facebook. “Emma Swan is one my favorite characters that I have ever played. My 6 years on ‘ONCE UPON A TIME’ has changed my life in the most beautiful ways. I am absolutely blown away by the passion and commitment of the Oncer fans.”
The news comes as a big surprise as Emma Swan, the daughter of Prince Charming and Snow White, is at the heart of the show. Charming and Snow White sent Emma to the real world as a newborn to protect her from a curse by the Evil Queen in season one. According to a prophecy, Emma would find her parents 28 years later and save them from the enchantment placed upon them. (That spell involved being placed in the real world and forgetting their real identities.)
Early seasons revolved around Swan coming to terms with being the daughter of fairytale royalty after living much of her life as an orphan. After breaking the Evil Queen’s curse, Swan has been the fairytale savior ever since. Whenever a new villain marches into town, she’s at the forefront to take them down.
Her on-again, off-again romance with Killian, aka Captain Hook, has been a mainstay for fans of the series. Her wedding to Hook in the series’ most recent episode, feels like the perfect ending to her role.
While there’s no shortage of fairytale characters for the show to continue into a seventh season, it’s uncertain how the show would move on without its lead.
The bigger question is how the show will handle sending Morrison’s character off the show. Currently, she’s embroiled in a giant battle with an evil fairy that’s been teased all of season six. Morrison’s exit from the series could be a hint that things are not going to end well for Emma Swan.
Would the show really kill off its lead character? Maybe. We’re hoping she’ll slay the fairy and sail off on the Jolly Roger with her husband, Killian, leaving the door open for character appearances.
That very well could be the case. Though Morrison is leaving the show, the actress said season six may not be the last time we see Emma Swan.
“If ABC Network does in fact order a season 7, I have agreed to appear in one episode, and I will most certainly continue to watch ‘ONCE UPON A TIME,'” wrote Morrison. “The creativity of the showrunners has always inspired me, and I cannot wait to see the ways that they continue to develop and reinvent the show.”
In January, ABC Chief Channing Dungey told Entertainment Weekly that a seventh season of the show could be very different.
“[Executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis] would be looking for the seventh season to be a springboard in a new direction from a narrative standpoint,” said Dungey, “which doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re not bringing cast back, it’s just how do you kind of hit the reset button in a way that gives you opportunity to expand the stories that we’re telling?”
And, it’s not just Morrison who could leave the show. Other stars whose contracts are expiring include Lana Parrilla (Regina/Evil Queen), Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin), and Colin O’Donoghue (Killian/Captain Hook), so we wouldn’t be surprised if the show hit some sort of reset button.
The two-hour season six finale of “OUAT” airs Sunday, May 14 on ABC.
You can read Morrison’s full letter to fans from her Facebook page below:
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