The Once Upon a Time fandom was rocked this weekend by the news that ABC is considering developing a Mad Hatter-centric OUAT spin-off, which would likely require recasting the role.
Reaction to this news was mixed at best, and we have to admit that we're not huge fans of the concept. If the show does come to pass, we'd obviously tune in, and probably get addicted just like with OUAT. But we'd rather not live in that world.
Here are the three reasons we're hoping this spin-off doesn't happen.
1. The Mad Hatter is not the Mad Hatter without Sebastian Stan. Sebastian Stan is too busy to head up a TV show for a reason: He's a rising star. The man has buckets of talent and the good looks to match; it would be very hard to land a suitable replacement. His intense, soulful take on this quirky character is what makes the OUAT Mad Hatter work. We don't want Jefferson if he's not played by Sebastian.
2. The Mad Hatter wouldn't actually make a great lead. Jefferson remains one of our favorite OUAT characters, but we have a feeling that he's better in small doses. Enigmatic, roguish, and more than a bit crazy are good traits for a secondary character whose primary purpose is to mix things up for the protagonists. But as a main character Jefferson would almost certainly get overwhelming. Or, worse, his rough edges would get smoothed down to make him more relatable, which would ruin the character.
3. There are better characters to spin off. We understand the impulse to create an OUAT spin-off. The show has done well for ABC, and its universe is large enough to accommodate more than one show without feeling repetitive. But we’re not convinced a Jefferson show is the way to go. For instance, we’d much rather see a spin-off featuring Mulan’s adventures, especially if they kept her paired with Sleeping Beauty. Who doesn’t love an odd-couple action show, especially one that features a kickass heroine? Or what about a more adult take on the concept that features more literary characters, a la Dr. Whale’s world?
We get that Jefferson is one of OUAT’s biggest breakout characters, but that doesn’t mean he’s the right person to focus a spin-off on, especially if it requires ditching the actor who made the character memorable in the first place.
Do you agree?
Catch the next episode of Once Upon a Time on Sunday, March 3 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.