How will ABC’s Once Upon a Time in Wonderland’s version of Jafar differ from Disney’s Aladdin version?
Showrunners Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz dropped some hints about how Naveen Andrews’ character will be integrated into the Once universe during their Television Critics Association press tour stop in Beverly Hills on Sunday.
“First off, like any character we introduce, we approach it from [asking] how do we humanize [the character], what’s the way to make it real relatable and grounded, and then we find an awesome actor,” Horowitz says.
“We wrote this part for [Andrews],” Kitsis says. “We knew we wanted Jafar, we knew we wanted Naveen. Similar to what we do with Once Upon a Time, no villain is just born evil, they’re made evil. For us, that is the story of Jafar, the story of what is driving him to need this power. With Naveen, we know he can break your neck with legs – as we saw in Lost – but he can also make you cry.”
“It’s about two big things,” Horowitz adds. “What does he want? And how did he get the way he is in order to want that thing?”
The showrunners added that Jafar will have an “uneasy alliance” with the Red Queen. There is something she wants that Jafar can help her get. “Like any partnership with two villains, neither trust the other,” Kitsis says. “Like all our characters, what she truly wants is something she cannot get through magic and power alone.”
Will Jafar’s sarcastic parrot Iago be in it?
“No parrot but staff!” Kitsis says.
Also: New potential character alert! The showrunners teased they’re interested in perhaps adding the ferocious Jabberwock from Alice’s adventures.