ABC has nixed its plans for Epic, the fairytale-themed romantic anthology from Once Upon a Time creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, according to Deadline. A decade ago, Horowitz and Kitsis captivated fans with the premiere of their fairytale series, but now there’s no happily ever after for their similarly fashioned series.
Epic was initially greenlit by the network back in December, with the announcement that former Once Upon a Time writer Brigitte Hales was slated to write it, with Horowitz and Kitsis acting as executive producers. The pilot was filmed in Ireland during the pandemic, with Brittany O’Grady, Sarah Hyland, Tony Sebastian, and Eleanor Fanyika starring as fairytale-inspired characters.
The series was set to take place in a Disney-like Enchanted Forest, paying homage to the classic fairytales we grew up with. Hyland was cast to play “Rose,” a princess-y princess whose fairy tale was upended when her Prince Charming, presumably Sebastian‘s “Phillipe,” had second thoughts about their wedding. Fanyinka was cast as “The Seer” — a figure that could lead a person down the path of true love.
While the initial pitch for Epic wasn’t too strikingly similar to its predecessor Once Upon a Time, the minor similarities may have been a deciding factor for the network’s decision to pass. It sounds like, despite ABC‘s initial excitement, the pilot didn’t quite meet their expectations. The early seasons of Once Upon a Time were lightning in a bottle, but ratings dropped dramatically between the first and last seasons. Perhaps ABC decided it would be good form to let a little more time pass before revisiting a fairytale-inspired series, helmed by the pair.
Horowitz and Kitsis haven’t given up on fairytales entirely. The duo is currently in production for the Beauty and the Beast prequel series on Disney+, which sees Luke Evans and Josh Gad reprising their roles from the 2017 live-action film.