Once Upon A Time spin-off in early development

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ABC is eyeing a spin-off of their popular fable offering “Once Upon A Time”. The new series would fix on ‘The Mad Hatter’ character, but Sebastian Stan, who has played the character since 2012, will not be reprising his role on the new show.

The network had hoped the former “Gossip Girl” star would return to the role, but his reps have advised the network that Stan – who reprises his role as ‘Bucky’ in the upcoming “Captain America” sequel – isn’t able to commit to a TV series at this moment in time.

The character of The Mad Hatter, who will return to “Once Upon A Time” later this year before transitioning into his own series, will be recast.

ABC is deciding whether or not to simply film a presentation or do a backdoor pilot for the spin-off. ”Once Upon a Time executive” producers Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis are overseeing the spinoff and would be the series’ showrunners if it’s greenlit.