It looks like at least one member of ABC's #OnceUponaTime won't be getting a fairytale ending, as yet another long-standing member of the show will be bowing out after Season 6. We have already seen big name departures from Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas as Snow White and Prince Charming, followed by the shock reveal that lead actress #JenniferMorrison wouldn't be returning to her part as Emma Swann. However, in the latest casting cull, we can now reveal that Rebecca Mader won't be back as Zelena/the Wicked Witch of the West.
The 40-year-old Lost actress has played Zelena since Season 3 and has been involved in some of the fairytale fantasy's biggest storylines. While Goodwin, Dallas, and Morrison seem to have left of their own accord, it looks like Mader was pushed off the cliff before she could get back on her broomstick.
Son Of A Witch
Announcing the news on her Instagram, Mader firstly congratulated co-creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, but revealed that the decision was not hers to make:
“A lot of you have been asking if I will be joining everyone in Season 7, so I wanted to let you know personally that unfortunately I am not. This wasn’t my choice but a creative decision of the shows that I totally respect and understand."
We have already heard about a soft reboot of Once Upon a Time if renewed for Season 7, and now that we know it is coming back, it looks like the plan is coming into play. So far, the only cast members confirmed to return are Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills, Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin, and Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook.
It is expected that Season 7 will involve a huge time jump and that the arrival of The Walking Dead's Andrew J. West could be as an older Henry Mills. Many have questioned how Hook can appear without Emma, but if we are having a substantial leap forward in timeline, it could pick up after his wounds have healed.
Mader was promoted to series regular in Season 5, and with Season 7 reportedly built around her sister Regina, many had hoped that Zelena would be part of the continuing change of landscape. With Mader now officially out, does this mean that Zelena is set for a dramatic Season 6 finale demise?
Morrison has confirmed that she will be back for at least one episode in Season 7 to round off Emma's story, however, Mader wasn't so quick to confirm any form of happy ending. With the two-hour finale just days away, it looks like someone could be set to douse Zelena with a glass of water and watch her melt into the history of Storybrooke!
You can check out Mader's full post beneath, and don't forget our poll below!