Will the ‘Once Upon a Time’ Elsa Find Love in Season 4 ‘Frozen’ Plot?
Once Upon a Time’s Frozen-themed story arc has been earning buzz ever since the show first teased it at the end of last season’s finale. In early July, the ABC fantasy series announced that it had added three new characters from the Disney hit film to the cast, with Greek alum Scott Michael Foster set to play Kristoff, newcomer Elizabeth Lail as Elsa’s sister, Anna, and Australian actress Georgina Haig as the queen of Arendelle herself. But despite fans’ pleas, the producers of the show have refused to discuss any specifics about the storyline until now.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunners Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz finally revealed more details about what to expect next season, including exactly which Frozen characters will appear, whether Elsa will have a love interest, and just how true to the movie they’ll stay. In good news for fans of Frozen as is, Horowitz and Kitsis both insist they’re making it a priority to honor Disney’s portrayal of the characters.
“We would never want to redo the movie. But we want this to feel like a part of [the movie] and feel a part of our show,” Horowitz told Entertainment Weekly. “We want it to walk that line of being part of the Once Upon a Time universe, but also feel like part of the Frozen world.”
While Once has been known to pull, as Horowitz puts it, “a complete flip” on the personality of some classic fairy tale characters in the past (like the villainous and sometimes borderline demonic Peter Pan in the Neverland story arc), that won’t be the case with Elsa, Anna, and the rest of the Frozen crew.
That should come as a relief to viewers who expressed concern about the show either making a drastic departure from the movie or putting an altogether different twist on the central characters — a worry that picked up speed after rumors started flying that Elsa would play a villain. “We want to be true to the characters, we don’t want to change what they were in the movie,” Horowitz said to EW. “Instead, we want the twist to be how they fit into our universe.”
With that in mind, Horowitz and Kitsis also confirmed that, as in the movie, Elsa will not have a love interest. Instead, the plot will focus on exploring her as a person and her interactions with the rest of the Storybrooke characters, as well as picking up on the film’s focus on her relationship to her sister. Before anyone gets too disappointed, though, it’s worth noting that one of the best and most important characters on the show, Regina (aka the Evil Queen) hasn’t had a new love interest for the majority of the show. It wasn’t until last season that she finally got involved with Robin Hood (aka the man with the lion tattoo that Tinkerbell once declared was her true love).
The Frozen storyline will pick up after the film left off. Fans got their first look at Haig in her Elsa gear, and she certainly looks the part. Sadly, not every character from the movie will be included. While the producers confirmed that the beloved Olaf will not be appearing on Once Upon a Time, they also revealed that Sven will be joining Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff on the show.
It was also recently announced that Lost actress Elizabeth Mitchell was cast in a Frozen-related role on the series, although it remains unclear what exactly that role is. Most fans believe one of two theories: that Elsa and Anna’s mom actually survived the sea voyage and Mitchell will be playing her, or that she’ll take on the part of the original Snow Queen. Kitsis and Horowitz confirmed that Mitchell is playing one of those characters, but wouldn’t say which one.
The duo also revealed that viewers will get to see a Once version of the animated world of Arendelle, although they’re still working on what exactly it look like on screen. While we still don’t how or why Elsa and the rest of the characters end up in Storybrooke, fans should enjoy the characters’ visit there while it lasts. While some characters from past story arcs have lingered on (like Captain Hook, although that’s likely due to his blossoming relationship with Emma), Kitsis and Horowitz say the Frozen gang will only stick around for their allotted episodes and no longer.
Either way, if producers were looking to create or renew interest in the show with the upcoming storyline, it’s clearly working. Let’s just hope the Frozen plot doesn’t disappoint when Season 4 premieres on September 28.