Once Upon a Time has had a large roster of guest stars and recurring characters so far for a series that is only 22 episodes in. With the second season already underway in the writers’ room, casting moves are starting to be released as production gears up to welcome back its various actors and actress. Red Riding Hood herself Meghan Ory was the first casting news of the new year as she was bumped from a recurring role to a series regular, and now it seems the fairy tale drama is ready to grant another female the same courtesy.
TV Line reports that Emilie de Ravin, who plays Belle of the reimagined Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, will return in Once Upon A Time‘s second season as a series regular. This is De Ravin’s first regular role since her departure from LOST, and is a major upgrade from her small stint in the first year. The actress showed up for only three episodes, one of which includes the season finale where it was hinted that she would likely be sticking around for the time being at the right hand of Rumplestiltskin.
Writer Jane Espenson, who primarily writes for the character of Belle, told the site ”We cast [Emilie] thinking that she’d be great for this but that it would probably be a one-shot — but if she didn’t get a pilot and she had a good time and she’s available, we knew that of course she’d be welcome back!” With a war likely to erupt between her true love and Regina as the later half of the season hinted at, Belle could truly be either a force to be reckoned with, a pawn in the two players’ live chess game, or even a liability as she is a weakness to Rumplestiltskin’s well thought out plans.
De Ravin and Ory join fellow series regulars Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jared Gilmore, and Raphael Sbarge.
One fate fans are still waiting to hear about is that of actor Sebastian Stan. Earlier this year, it was said the fan-favorite character Jefferson was in contention to become a series regular or at the very least a recurring role. Like De Ravin, Stan showed up for multiple episodes following his previously thought one-shot appearance, and has truly been a role that fans have embraced. Stan’s short-lived Political Animals mini-series is set to begin airing next month on USA Network, and the actor’s schedule remains pretty much open for a possible return. With Jefferson wanting his daughter Grace to not be plagued with the terrible burden of remembering that he was in fact her father, it would be an interesting plot to follow now that the curse has been lifted from Storybrooke and his wish on the matter has obviously backfired. However, nothing has yet been confirmed.
Once Upon a Time is scheduled to begin production next month in Vancouver, with a season premiere sometime this fall in its regular slot of Sundays at 8PM on ABC.