EXCLUSIVE 'Once Upon a Time' Scoop: Get to Know the Queens of Darkness!


A trifecta of evil is headed to Storybrooke - and we've got everything you need to know!

A trifecta of evil is headed to Storybrooke — and we've got everything you need to know!

The winter premiere of Once Upon a Time is still more than a month away, (it's March 1 to be exact) but we've got exclusive details from executive producers Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis to magically help pass the time.

Now that we've gifted you with the romance rundown of all your favorite fairytale couples, it's time to focus on their fierce and fabulous villains that are headed our way in the second half of season four. The Queen of Darkness — Maleficent, Ursella and Cruella — are ready to get their wicked revenge and they're teaming up to unleash a whole new chapter of hell.

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When we re-connect with Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Regina (Lana Parilla) and the rest of Storybrooke's finest, six weeks will have passed since the Spell of Shattered sight cursed the town. So of course, that means it's time for the next wave of evil to attack. (Our poor characters never seem to catch a break!)

"This back half is a lot about what makes a hero and what makes a villain, and it's about trying to realize our happy endings," Kitsis shared.

Speaking of heroes versus villains, Kitsis and Horowitz teased that's a "safe assumption" for fans to believe that recently-banished Rumplestilksin (Robert Carlyle) has kept busy these past six weeks by tracking down the three most wicked villain-ettes in Disney history.

Not only are we definitely going to discover how the Queens of Darkness ended up outside of the town's limits, we’re also going to learn that each malevolent lady has a hidden past with Regina. Since we know how impatient all of our fellow OUAT fans are, we asked Kistis and Horowitz to give us an exclusive preview of what we can expect from each dangerous diva.

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"Well since we last saw our Maleficent there was a fantastic movie that came out, but we are going to be sticking to the villain that we created," Kitsis said of the return of Kristin Bauer van Straten's evil alter ego. "She was inspired by the original Sleeping Beauty movie, and we love the Maleficent movie that came out, but what we've been doing is building on the character we introduced in season one. We're not planning on doing a rip on the Disney movie that just came out."

We've seen her beastly side, but now it's time to explore Maleficent's beginnings. "We met her briefly in season one and we are going to get much more into her back story," Kitsis said. "In fact, we are even going to see a flashback of how Maleficent and the Evil Queen met." Not only are we going to see Maleficent's relationship with Regina, fans will also discover that the wicked fairy also has ties to a many more of our Storybrooke residents.

"Our viewpoint is really in our own mythology that we've already set up with Aurora, with Regina, with Rumpelstiltskin, and with Snow and Charming," Horowitz promised. "We'll continue to do out twist on the iconic character in the confines of our Once Upon a Time world."

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Ladies, gentlemen and guppies everywhere, your attention please! The real sea-witch is headed our way, and you'd better believe that she's even more vicious then then imposter we met a few seasons back. Kistis revealed, "You may or may not remember but in season three Regina got into a little bit of trouble impersonating Ursula and we got a little lesson on the legend of the season goddess. (Oh trust us, Eddy—we remember!)

Now it's time to dive even deeper into the rough waters of Ursula's past. "She's based into the mythology of our Once Upon a Time universe and we're going to be exploring that further," Kitsis promised.

As always, the characters in Once have a little bit of a twist in their tales, and Kitsis said our tentacle temptress will definitely follow suit. "As we saw last year, our Little Mermaid story didn’t quite happen the same way as it did in the movie — and the Ursula story is quite different as well," he said.

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If you’re thinking that OUAT's Cruella de Vil (Victoria Smurfit) is just going to be a puppy-obsessed billionaire — you'd better think again. There's some serious power hidden beneath that gigantic fur coat.

"I would say that our twist on Cruella is that she isn’t necessarily that crazy woman from that Disney movie," Horowitz explained. "Our version of Cruella — you'll learn quickly — has origins that trace back to the Enchanted Forest and that there is some power to be had with her."

"Cruella will be really nothing like the movie," Kitsis added. "There will be some touchstones in the spirit of her character, but in our world she has powers and she'll be much more than the '50s Cruella in the move." We still think that Pongo had better watch out…

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The Queens of Darkness are certainly going to shake things up in Storybrooke, but fans will also be introduced to a few new characters as well. "I think there will be new characters popping in and out, but more the most part it's going to be focusing on our core characters," Horowitz confessed.

You here that, guys? Your favorite characters will be getting even more screen time in these upcoming episodes. (Pssst! We're talking to you, Evil Regals.) Horowitz continued, "Those characters who have been there through the years will have their past, and their present, and their futures intertwined with the Queens of Darkness."

Kitsis added, "I think that this second half is really going to focus on our core people again, and we’re going to get to see a lot of the people that we've loved since season one."

Once Upon a Time returns Sunday, March 1 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Which Queen of Darkness are you most excited to see when Once Upon a Time returns? Shout out your thoughts in the comments below or chat with @LeanneAguilera on Twitter!