While much of the promotion around the Wicked Witch's (Rebecca Mader) debut on Once Upon a Time has said that "Wicked is coming," the iconic witch may be more likable than previously assumed.
Much of Storybrooke will be restored in the midseason premiere of Once Upon a Time, and that will include a more pleasant version of the Wicked Witch, according to a new TVLine report. In fact, the villain might be comparable to Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), who is essentially the embodiment of innocence.
When approaching the role of the Wicked Witch, Mader reportedly wanted her to be manipulative, but she soon changed her approach to something more intriguing.
"She wanted her to be manipulative and conniving, something of an investigator," Goodwin told TVLine. "But then she realized, 'No, what would actually be wicked would be to match Snow's sweetness and really seem like someone cut from the same cloth.'"
In fact, Mader herself compared the character to Mary Poppins, saying, "Is it bad that in some respects we want her to win?!"
While Once Upon a Time will feature such classic Oz inhabitants as the Wicked Witch and Glinda the Good Witch (Sunny Mabrey) through the end of season 3, there has not been any other casting announcements. However, one of the most iconic Oz characters, Dorothy Gale, could have her story arc adapted to main character Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison).
With Emma's memories of Storybrooke being wiped clean in the winter finale, she has no reason to try and return there to reunite with the friends she's made. The rest of season 3 could feature Emma gradually coming to her senses and "waking from her dream," much like Dorothy at the end of The Wizard of Oz.
When asked about this possibility, Morrison responded favorably.
"I think so.... Eventually," she said. "I'm not sure, but... a lot of this is about Emma accepting Storybrooke as her home, so I think that's where the Dorothy theme will come into it, that 'there's no place like home.'"
Once Upon a Time season 3 returns for its midseason premiere on Sunday, March 9 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Watch a promo for the next episode of Once Upon a Time here: