Once Upon a Time actors and creators Jared Gilmore, Edward Kitsis, Lana Parrilla, Emilie de Ravin, Colin O'Donoghue, Rebecca Mader, Josh Dallas and Adam Horowitz at an event.

‘Once Upon A Time’ Season 7 Renewed, Cast, Premiere Update: Who Are Returning As Series Regulars In Season 7?

Once Upon a Time Season 7 will premiere this fall as ABC has renewed the fantasy-drama series for another season. The series, however, will be returning with only three original cast members. Moreover, Once Upon a Time Season 7 is expected to introduce a new narrative.

On Monday, May 8, Jennifer Morrison, who plays Emma Swan, aka the Savior, said that she would not be part of Once Upon a Time Season 7. She took to Instagram to announce that after six seasons, it was time for her to move on. The actress, however, has agreed to appear in one episode of the new season.

Josh Dallas (Prince Charming), Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White), Jared Gilmore (Harry), Emilie de Ravin (Belle), and Rebecca Madder (Zelena) are also not returning to reprise their roles in the new season. However, unlike Jennifer Morrison, who was asked to continue as a series regular by ABC and co-creators, these five actors were not invited for new contract negotiations or asked to continue on the series.

A majority of the cast is exiting the show because some of the current stories are wrapping up during Once Upon a Time Season 6 finale, titled “The Final Battle,” which means some of the characters’ stories are going to end permanently.

In an Instagram post, Rebbeca Madder said that her departure was a creative decision and not her choice.

To my Darling Pretties, First of all I would like to start by congratulating Adam, Eddie, Lana, Bobby and Colin on the pick up of Once Upon A Time! I am truly happy for you all and most importantly for the fans that will get to keep tuning in each week to see where they will take us. 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. The most important thing is that you all know how much you mean to me. I am told frequently both online and in person that by being a part of such a special show I have in some way changed someone's life. This is hugely meaningful to me. I am here to let you know that I am the one who has been changed. Not just by playing such a well written multi-dimensional character but by the fandom itself. I have heard your stories, your pain, your struggles, your achievements and I have truly felt you. I have learned. I have grown. I am a better person because of you, the fans and everyone that blessed me with this opportunity to play such an iconic role. Congrats all and thank you! I look forward to the next. I invite you to come with me on this journey. I am forever changed. And I'm wicked. And Wicked Always Wins. Forever yours, Bex ????

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In a statement, co-creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis said that they “fervently” believed that it would not be the last that they had seen of Edward Kitsis, Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jared Gilmore, Emilie de Ravin, and Rebecca Madder. But, even if they return, they will be making appearances as guest stars.

Lana Parrilla (Regina/Evil Queen), Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold), and Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook) are the three original stars who are set to continue as series regulars on Once Upon a Time Season 7. And joining them will be Season 6 finale guest-stars Andrew J. West, a Walking Dead alum, and Jane the Virgin actress Alison Fernandez. The two actors will be returning as series regulars in the fall. Andrew J. West is rumored to be playing the grown-up version of Henry.

Once Upon a Time Season 6 ends with a two-hour season finale. In the final episode, Emma is in the fight of her life, and because of the Black Fairy’s curse, the heroes of the series are trapped in the fairy tale land, and there is little hope of returning for them.

Speaking of Sunday’s episodes, the co-creators told Entertainment Weekly that some of the stories that they had been telling for the past six years would come to a satisfying end. “The Final Battle” would end on a note that would reveal what they had planned for Once Upon a Time Season 7, Kitsis said.

“The last scene of the finale will absolutely show everybody what we’re doing next year.”

And Horowitz hopes to see fans wondering about the series future storyline because of the questions that surface in the finale.

“We hope the questions that we’re asking are compelling and exciting for the fans to spend the summer wondering how it’s going to continue.”

Here is the synopsis for the Once Upon a Time Season 6 finale.

“Henry awakens to a cursed Storybrooke and discovers Emma has been in the mental hospital, and the Black Fairy is the new mayor. Henry attempts to help Emma regain her memory while Gold tries to find out what has really happened to Belle. Meanwhile, Snow, Charming, Regina, Zelena and Hook are trapped in a crumbling Fairy Tale Land and desperately try to figure out a way to be reunited with Emma and Henry.”

Thank you to all the #OnceUponATime fans and to everyone at ABC! #season7

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Once Upon a Time Season 7 is expected to premiere in the third week of September, most likely on Sunday, September 24. The 22-episode season will reportedly open with a big time jump.

[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]