‘s Season 4 finale, the only person who can rid the realms of the Darkness once and for all, and thus save newly christened Dark One Emma, is Merlin. But as our heroes seek out the elusive Sorcerer, viewers will meet some other familiar faces from Camelot lore.
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TVLine has learned exclusively that in addition to casting Merlin for Season 5, the ABC series will also introduce King Arthur and Guinevere, all in heavily recurring roles. Here now, the provocative details:
is seeking a black Brit in his early 30s to early 40s and boasting a natural British accent to play “a man with great wisdom and intelligence beyond his years,” someone who has always put duty in front of his own desires, even at great personal cost.
ARTHUR is described as a “good and just ruler” who, beneath the surface, “is a master manipulator who can carry a grudge to the grave, and maybe beyond.” He harbors an “eternal burning love” for Guinevere that can lean toward being a bit…
aims to cast a gent in his mid-30s to early 40s, and again a British accent is mandatory.
The casting call for GUINEVERE, meanwhile, seeks a Latina in her mid-20s to mid-30s to play a “headstrong queen” who fell in love with her husband’s most trusted knight, the dashing Lancelot — previously played on
), but (supposedly) dead in the current timeline. She now must balance her own happiness with the well-being of Camelot.
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And people will start complaining about new characters in 3…2…1…..
Well, it is a valid criticism. The show has enough characters as it is.
that in its self is reason enough to complain. While it worked a few times like with the frozen arc yeah sue me I enjoyed it and thought it was written good, the show its self has become less ‘let’s give these classic characters refreshing and intresting backstory’ and more ‘how many new people can we cram in one season’
I agree (and, judging by the show’s slipping ratings, so do other formerly-loyal OUAT viewers). The show can’t give proper time to its regular characters, and the arc format had led to guest characters getting more screentime than regulars. After the Frozen takeover, I thought Adam & Eddy claimed that this upcoming arc would not focus on guest characters? After the lackluster season finale, I’m on the fence about coming back for Season 5, and these spoilers aren’t exactly thrilling me.
I’m not sure where else the writers can take the current cast. They moved the story along too fast in seasons 1 and 2, and sort of wrote themselves into a corner.
My picks are Colin Salmon or Robbie Gee, because they’re yummy! My backup and long shots are Lennie James or Delroy Lindo, because I think their English accents would surprise people! lol!!! If only there was a prize if I guessed right!
^ Yes to Colin Salmon or maybe someone a little less well known on this side of the pond but still fabulous – Lenny Henry.
Obviously MERLIN is coming in season 5, so they going to cast some ppl in connecton to that story,I dont mind as along as its centered AROUND the characters esp Emma.
And your English needs lots of improving, dearie. Well written and itself… aff
Meh…. Haters gonna hate; if A&E had stuck to their guns about not bringing in any new characters, people would have gone “Meh, same old, they just ran out of ideasbooooriiiiing!!” Now they bring new characters, and it’s “Agh, like they didn’t have enough already!! Besides, I hate x actor and I think it was a complete miscast!” Me personally, I just enjoy it as it comes.
If I may interrupt… I myself, here at TVLine, at least don’t recall ever reporting them as saying “no new characters.” What I do remember them saying was that in the finale, there’d be no Elsa-type arrival that says, “We’re doing a big tie-in with ____!”
IOW, I suspect Arthur and Gwen, at least, won’t be glomming screen time in Storybrooke, but instead (again, just guessing) fleshing out some flashbacks and or around for when the heroes track down Merlin.
Thanks for the guess Matt. It’s not so much that I’m against the guest stars but I’d just like to see more of regular cast than we got last season.
I for one enjoy a lot of the new characters they bring on. Loved the Snow Queen and Elsa/Anna and Cruella. Peter Pan was great and even Zelena during her first arc (pre-Robin baby drama). I can’t, wait to see their twists on new fairy tales or stories and characters. There are still so many I want to see. I’m not too familiar with Merlin mythology, but I’m open to it and won’t judge before I see it. I like the balance the show has between showing the original characters and tackling new stories. To be honest, I really don’t need to see any more Regina, Snow, Charming, or Rumple-centric flashbacks. I’d much rather see their interactions in present day Storybrooke and as part of flashbacks for other new characters, because we already know so much of their history from the first three seasons. Now some more flashbacks for characters like Hook or Emma or even Regina during the curse and maybe some with Rumple and young Bae, I’d be open to see because we haven’t seen much of them, particularly Hook.
Great, like the show doesn’t have enough characters already. Honestly, they should focus on the core characters and giving them meaningful story lines.
these would be guest stars. every show has lots of guest stars. this is no different. why are you complaining? its not like they’ll adding to the cast.
The problem is the show’s tendency to tell two seperate arcs of 11 episodes each per season. To cram a whole arc into 11 episodes, you need to feature the guest characters more than you normally would when you spread out a story over the course of 22 episodes. On OUAT most guest stars get a character centric episode too, which means more guest stars = take up more of these centric episodes. We’ll see though. I’m open to this. I admit I hated how OUAT became the Frozen show in season 4 for a while, but I don’t think Camelot will have to be a similar experience.
When I read the Merlin description, first people that came to mind were Idris Elba, David Oyelowo and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Of them all, I think Oyelowo would be the easier get.
Gotta admit, Idris Elba was the first person who came to mind too. Even though I suspect he’s too tied up with other things to be on the show.
Idris was my first thought. I don’t think this show has that kind of pull though.
You never know. Idris is under contract to Marvel which is owned by Disney who owns ABC. Maybe arrangements could be made.
Idris was my first thought too! lol!!! But unfortunately, all of those actors are in high demand right now!
somehow I don’t think Idris Elba would be up for Merlin, but sounds like he’s be perfect.
Yay! Lol. That was my exact thought when I first read the description. I was hoping they would remember that Lancelot was black and consider some more diversity. And they did. Too bad they can’t pull Idris Elba. Still I’m sure they’ll get someone great.
political correctness run amok is more like it. of course this trend of race and gender bending roles of known characters for the sake of political correctness began many years ago. Why not make Merlin a woman, Guinevere a guy and Arthur gay while they’re at it. I’m sure they at least thought about it.
sorry i just want colin morgan, bradley james, and angel coulby
This is a completely different universe from the BBC series.
I’m sure I’ll love the characters they choose but I can’t yet picture anyone else playing Merlin, Arthur and Gwen, the other Camelot shows/movies that I’ve seen cannot hold a candle to it. Such a great show.
me too. cant we get them. they’re the Merlin cast I know and love.
Don’t tell me: King Arthur is a villian and Queen Guenevere is Snow’s long lost half sister or her college roommate.
She is her father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate.
Awesome! Haven’t seen that movie in forever!
*raises eyebrow” diversity has to be NATURAL. A Latina in King Arthur’s Court is forced. This is a story that took place in an entirely different continent several centuries before there was any contact between the two.
The Enchanted Forest is an entirely fictional realm. I doubt the show is planning to set and present the story in its traditional medieval European context.
By that logic, she might as well be a humanoid lizard…
That’s a better “twist” than what the writers have been coming up with for awhile now. I’ll take it!
There are dragon, cricket, wolf-by-night, and wooden puppet characters. A humanoid lizard might be a step up.
She is a survivor from the V revival that fled to Fairytale Land following the cancellation.
YES! Make her a Silurian and we can finally have that OUAT/Doctor Who cross-over we have all been waiting for (or, they could just cast Noel Clarke as Arthur)
Technically, in this show, it took place in a land that isn’t connected to ours and has no real designation in time or history. So why is it more believable that there’s a mystical wizard who can save Emma from being the Dark One but heaven forbid there is such a place where race isn’t an issue and everyone coexists in one land. Lol
If the land isn’t connected to ours, she can’t be latina, now can she? As for the whole fictional thing, well, no, the whole point is that they are not fictional characters, but real characters from another universe, another dimension, whose exploits were recorded in our world through Authors such as Walt Disney.
This isn’t Last Action Hero, or any such story like that. The brothers Grimm, Walt Disney, and all such other authors who, in the real world, are credited with creating these characters, didn’t really crate them. Rather, they were all Authors as it pertains to the narrative rules and concepts of this series who were able to peak into this other realm and chronicle what they saw in the form of the books and movies they wrote.
You’re assuming other worlds have only white people? Or are you just referring to the “Latina” part, as in Latin America? Jeez, white privilege at its finest here. I’m pretty sure brown skinned people, whatever you want to name them, can exist in other worlds, if we’re going to use logic on a fictional show.
It’s not about black or white, it’s about rhyme and reason. Consider Matt’s own mistake when he referred to Merlin as “African American” as opposed to “Black British”. Make her a Spaniard rather than a Latino. That would be more logical and in keeping with the setting of the story it is using.
I get your point. It would make no sense at all for a Fairytale Land character to be a Latino (as in a modern day American of hispanic origin), simply because in FTL there is no America, no Spain, therefore no Spanish conquest of the Americas, therefore no Latinos. Just like it would make no sense for the FTL citizens to be referred to as Americans, Germans, Italians or whatever. They come from a different world, with a different history. However, we’ve already seen that various human races can be found in FTL. And if there are black and white people, why wouldn’t there be [Incas and Mayas] race too? In FTL they are probably not called Incas, Mayas or native Americans, since the Americas don’t exist in that world, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t exist. Guinevere’s character was described as a Latina because they are looking for a Latina actress, but that doesn’t mean the character will actually be a Latina (Spanish speaking and all). She is probably just supposed to look like one, to show that FTL is a diverse land.
Ah, but those would originate from fairy tales from THOSE cultures. Now imagine that a character from an Aztec fairy tale was re-imagined as white for the sake of diversity.
I’m not even sure what the discussion is here. I highly doubt the descriptions are to describe the characters, but the actors they are seeking to play the characters. And again, we are talking about a show that deals with made up fictional realms here. Not historical facts.
The King Arthur story as being told in ONCE UPON A TIME didn’t happen hundreds of years ago in the real world. It’s happening now – or happened within the last few years, if they’re casting for flashbacks – in another realm with a history entirely unlike ours.
This story has NOTHING to do with British folklore, and certainly not British history.
And yet, they want actors with a British accent. This isn’t about race, this is about accuracy when adapting established characters and stories, which this isn’t doing. This is being PC for the sake of being PC.
Maybe, but it’s probably also about trying to attract as many viewers as possible so they can charge higher advertising rates..
You can achieve that with natural diversity, as opposed to forced, manufactured one.
She is going to have both a black and a (probably) white lover. According to the Eva Mendes Law of Casting, only Hispanic women can cross that line.
Can’t Guinevere be Claire Holt. Not really in description but she would rock the role.
Well, clearly Lennie James should be Merlin. :)
James needs to commit to Walking Dead, heh.
Teen Wolf and the Walking Dead seem to somehow share cast members (it was easier with Melissa Ponzio, she was Karen, Tyreese’s girlfriend that Carol killed, because they were mainly both in Georgia) we’ll see how it works with Seth Gilliam since it sounds like he plays a role in this season of Teen Wolf, but it could be like 3A where he apparently went to Japan for like four episodes. But, Teen Wolf is in LA and I think OUAT is in Vancouver, that might be difficult.
Also consider Chiwetel Ejiofor but he is going for movie roles these days.
Are we sure that Lancelot is dead in present day, though? I seem to remember Adam and Eddy were surprised when fans believed Cora when she claimed that she’d killed him. And I guess they do have a point, Cora was a lying liar who lied. Or did the casting calls now confirm that Lancelot’s indeed dead?
I suppose Cora could have been telling a tall tale. I shall massage the text as needed.
I say cast Colin Salmon for Merlin if Arrow doesn’t need him for more than a guest shot in S4. Give Arthur to James Frain and Guinevere to an unknown as a breakout role.
Agree with Colin Salmon, I don’t think he’ll be used on arrow with Oliver’s mum dead
“For MERLIN, Once is seeking an African American in his early 30s to early 40s and boasting a natural British accent…”
Does anyone else see the trouble with this?
Unnatural, forced, PC-driven diversity at the expense of rhyme and reason. Other than that…
Why do you assume everyone has to be white? And don’t fall back on the old stories or Disney movies. those are decades and/or centuries old and are a loose basis for the show. Who cares that they want a black person or a Latina for a role? How does that hurt the story in any way? To me, it’s just making you more aware of your racism.
It’s not about black or white. Consider the mistake Matt made when he referred to Merlin as “African American” rather than “Black British”. Make her a Spaniard. That be more credible.
Why is it bothering you so much in a story about fairies and imaginary royalty? So it’s ‘PC’, so what? What is it exactly about purposefully doing something to make a group of people happy and included that’s so freaking bad? Okay, they’re making Guinevere Latina just so that Latinos are happy and enjoy the show even more; and this is hurting who exactly and how? Hollywood and TV’s whole industry is geared to entertain and please viewers. It is completely filled with unrealistically young, pretty, glamourous and historically-dubious people specifically to please viewers; everybody knows that. So adding POC to please POC is just business as usual and makes sense, especially in a place like North America that happens to be extremely culturally mixed. If you really can’t stand lack of ‘realism’ in your TV shows, you must be fun to be around because even ‘Real Life’ on TV isn’t like ‘real life’. So don’t even get started on the ‘authenticity’ in a fantasy show that’s drawing heavily on Disney cartoons. Yeah, they’re adding a Latina. Cry me a river.
It’s the difference between natural diversity and forced diversity. Show me where I said that there shouldn’t be any diversity at all.
I agree with finding the best actor for a role. But it what exactly is “natural diversity” in terms of a TV show where someone makes decision to cast an actor in a role?
These characters are not being created out of the ether, but rather taken from previous sources that defined them from start to finish. Natural diversity would be like when they got Mulan,who is Asian, or if they got a character from Native American fables and used him/her.
Mulan will ALWAYS be Asian, and will ALWAYS be a woman.
Merlin, and now G, won’t always be black and latino. They’ll be that this one time, then they will reset to being white in the next adaptation for the simple reason that they are white in the source material.
Ha, good catch! I have tweaked the language with what as far as I can tell is the proper descriptor.
Thanks, Matt. That just really tickled me and I needed a good laugh today.
Personally, I wish more of these casting calls didn’t bring ethnicity into play but instead focused on finding the best actor for the part skin tone not withstanding.
Truly a double-edged sword, the proactive intent. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Idris Elba!! well a girl can dream, right? maybe David Oleyowo or Gary Carr ( Downton Abbey) Ioan or Sean Bean, Tom Hardy, Charlie Hunnam, Vision! Paul Bettany for Arthur
But i want to see more Emma. and this dark one myth.
And just how poetic and ironic it is that Hook is in love with the now Dark One.
Seriously, people are going to complain about new characters? Like s e r i o u s l y? After they’ve hinted so many times at Camelot, Merlin, and everything that has to do with the legend of King Arthur? Of course, bring them on.
Any series has lots of guest stars, why should anything be different in this brilliant show.
The only thing I disagree with is that Merlin should be old, but hey it’s not my call. I trust the creators, they’ve done a marvelous job so far.
Of course, one more thing is necessary. Announcement of Sean Maguire as a regular.
sounds like the big baddie could be king arthur next season, I hope we see Lancelot in flashbacks
Jacky Ido for Merlin, except I think he’s already got a new show. Drats.. Clé Bennett would be an interesting choice as well.
When did this show become so terrible ..oh wait when they killed Neal to pander
New characters that will get all the focus and take away the storylines from the core characters. Just like Frozen. NO need for em to return since it’s obvious they have shelved Rumple and RUmbelle and he will no longer be with the main cast again. I miss the days of character driven stories where all the characters had depth and were interesting and not remade to fit a plot w/o any meaning. Also I’m leery of Emma being the DO, because I’m sure the writers will make it look like she gets excused for anything she does cursed, and will probably get TLK that they denied RUmbelle because they no longer care. Not sure why I even type this. I want to have hope but I know that the media loves the showrunners and will never call them out, and that the showrunners would rather lose us longtime viewers then make the show make sense again.
One (1) user name per IP address, thank you so super much!
Matt I cant wait for you to get us some actual scoop from comic-con (even maybe a teaser :)
Ioan Gruffodd for Arthur! I’m going to miss Forever.
When I first read they were going to have a Merlin, I thought Ioan would be the dream casting for the roll. Oh, well.
Me too! When I read the story I thought Idris Elba for Merlin and Ioan Gruffudd for Arthur
I’m all up for the new characters as long as they’re introduced with no ties to any of the core characters. And i’m sure 5A will be core centric being that Emma is the new dark one
At least characters in the series as connections to Camelot: Jefferson (the graphic novel), Rumple, and Lancelot. So expect connections and one possible with Maleficent if Merlin turns out to be Lily’s father
OMG can they just cast the stars of BBC Merlin plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
I think that the Merlin casting is so they can get either the person who played his voice in “Lily” back or someone similar.
This is the same issue people had with Rapunzel, Ursula, and Poseidon. Let’s stop focusing on the description of characters and focus more on what the characters can bring to the show. These are not historical people, they are fictional and therefore race is not set in stone (no pun intended). The point of storytelling is to tell good stories. We can all argue about the quality of OUAT but you can’t say that color-blind casting has anything to do with it.
Guest Stars are on all shows it’s true but the key is finding how to fit them in without having to put the majority of your regular cast of characters on the backburner. JMHO but I don’t feel Once got that balance right in either 4a or 4b. On the other hand there’s Chicago Fire. They have a large cast, most of whom we see frequently, and guest stars. They just don’t let the guests practically take over the whole show like again IMHO Once has been doing.
I agree with earlier poster that maybe keeping it a one arc season would help. Though I’m hoping Emma will be free of DO by midseason!
One arc per season would be a terrible idea. They would have to pad the storytelling way too much.
King Arthur played by Jonathon Rhys-Meyers. He would be a yummy Arthur.
I’m really excited for the new characters! Since Merlin & Arthur will have British accents, might we find out that a certain pirate originally comes from Camelot? We’ve been waiting to find out about Hook’s family and childhood for a long time.
Thanks for the news about OUAT. And sure I can sit here and wish my favs had more screentime (like they said they were going to explore a real relationship with Hook and Emma in 4B but they actually hardly shared anytime together onscreen &Hook almost not at all…plus I love Charming family moments) but the thing is I’m excited for Camelot and what they’re going to with it especially since there have been so many references to it over the course of the series. And I love a lot of the new characters (Elsa, Pan and de Vil being my favs), they serve a purpose as long as they’re not over extended and I love seeing old faces pop up like August and Ariel etc
Can the cast of Merlin just be transplanted over? I miss that show so much.
The show is too segmented now. Adam and Eddy lost the touch to focus on simple things about the main characters along the way which was what brought most of us to watch in the first place back in season one.
Sounds great! I’d rather have guest stars help out the story because how much back story do I need on the main cast? I’ve learned a lot about these characters and let’s face it, the whole Snow and Charming lying story arc was the worst. I’ll take anyone else having a storyline if it keeps Belle off my screen as I find nothing interesting about her and her crying. Looking forward to this story arc!!!
Black Lancelot was a stretch. Black Merlin is an insult. I’m done with OUAT.
So is the existence of black people insulting to you in general, or just when depicted on television?
Hugh Laurie would offer unbelievable take on Arthur.
Wonder how lady morgana would play into this? also i would like for once to go into the history of cinderalla’s evil step sisters and stepmother- that could make or a whole season, if im not mistaken one of the sister’s name is anastasia.-wasnt she the queen of heart in once upon a time in wonderland?
Ioan Gruffudd as Merlin-Now that would be some amazing casting. I’d love the show even more!
Another desperate attempt at making this show worth it, sorry but you have ruined the show and you keep doing it even more. I love Athurian legends but this is getting ridiculous.
Posted on wrong timeline. Samuel Anderson (Danny Pink on Dr. Who) or Howard Charles , Porthos on the Musketeers. Iris Elba woild likely be too busy.
Am I the only one who’s noticing there’s no MORGANA or MORGAUSE? Come on A&E, you can’t have Camelot without them! Not that they need more characters, but if you’re bringing in Camelot, you better bring in the sorceresses that caused all the problems. They made that mistake by only having Hans in TWO episodes.
They should get the characters from Merlin off of Syfy from a few years ago…they were perfect in those roles and had great chemistry! Clin Morgan, Bradley James, & Either Angel Coulby or Katie McGrath…They were awesome!
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje for Merlin please. Ultimate Lost Easter egg if he carries a staff and sees black smoke. Please please please!!!
Um not sure what to think of this I have no problem with ouat adding new characters actually more the merrier but Merlin being POC isn’t working for me. In no way am I racist some of our best actors are POC Samuel Jackson, Denzil Washington, Morgan Freeman to list a few. I think I’m against it because the King Arthur tale is a legend not a story like other disney tales. I myself am Welsh and my family have been Welsh for centuries and to the Welsh King Arthur, Merlin etc. is a part of our History a legend we hold dear. The ancient Welsh were not POC I don’t think then again I could be wrong Merlin was actually known as Myrddin Emrys with Camelot Arthurs chief court actually being said to be located in Caerleon, Ancient Wales. Emrys is actually my fathers name and I have always liked the fact that he shares a link to a legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth actually created the tale (or at least tweaked it) of which the Disney story is based quite loosely. I truly believe that OUAT needs to be faithful to the legend and the story created particularly for the Welsh public OUAT have many fans in Wales. I will keep an open mind however the casting of a POC will not change and I will not ask them or demand it changed that is not right and anyway this is the direction OUAT has chosen to take I will respect that. I just hope the actor does Merlin credit. p.s. I don’t think or I hope that King Arthur won’t be the bid bad I believe it will be Morgana le Fey and she will be the source of the Dark power here’s hoping.
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