Prepare yourselves for Jennifer Morrison‘s Once Upon a Time swan song. The actress took to Instagram to announce she is leaving the ABC fairy tale drama after season six.
“As I reached the end of my 6 year contract on Once Upon a Time, I was faced with a significant decision. ABC, Eddy Kitsis, and Adam Horowitz very generously invited me to continue as a series regular. After very careful consideration, I have decided that creatively and personally, it is time for me to move on,” she wrote on Instagram. “Emma Swan is one my favorite characters that I have ever played. My 6 years on Once Upon a Time has changed my life in the most beautiful ways. I am absolutely blown away by the passion and commitment of the Oncer fans. I am so honored to have been a central part of such a special show.”
ABC has yet to officially order a seventh season.
“I will be forever grateful to Adam, Eddy, and ABC for giving me the gift of playing Emma Swan. As I move on to other creative endeavors, I will continue to attend the fan conventions whenever my professional schedule allows. I always look forward meeting the fans,” Morrison continued on Instagram. “If ABC Network does in fact order a season 7, I have agreed to appear in one episode, and I will most certainly continue to watch Once Upon a Time. The creativity of the showrunners has always inspired me, and I cannot wait to see the ways that they continue to develop and reinvent the show.”
“The past six years of collaborating with Jennifer as Emma Swan have been truly magical. Watching her breathe life into Emma, she accomplished more than we could have dreamed possible—she gave life to a brand-new Disney Princess, filled with strength and intelligence and an incredible closet full of red leather jackets,” Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis said in a statement. “We’ll miss seeing her every day, but her imprint upon Once Upon a Time is indelible. She will always be a part of the show and its heart and soul. That said, just because Jennifer won’t be back every week doesn’t mean we won’t see our savior again.”
The future of OUAT, which just aired its special musical episode, has been in question for months. Morrison, along with Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle and Colin O’Donoghue, were rumored to be part of a seventh season reinvention.
“I think the way we sort of look at it is these are stories for these characters and there are set end points to different stories but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t new stories for different characters,” executive producer Adam Horowitz recently told press. “So I think that by the end of the season finale, a lot of what we’ve been doing for the last six years is wrapped up in a very satisfying way and then we move forward in a way that at the end of it, hopefully you’ll see what we’re hoping to do in season seven.”
Eddy Kitsis, executive producer, added: “I think if there’s one thing this show has done, it’s reinvented itself every year and so this show has the ability to be many different shows so we feel like creatively it’s time to end a few stories but the new show, we feel like this is the kind of show that regenerates. And I think when you see the ending you’ll go, ‘Oh yeah!'”
But, if the show does end after season six, it will be a satisfying ending.
“I would say that if this was the series finale then you would have the usual opinions on a series finale, ranging from the best ever to the worst ever because that’s the internet,” Kitsis said. “What I would say for fans is that it will be complete, so they will not have any dangling threads where they’re like, ‘I can’t believe they!’ We’re not going for a crazy ending that everyone goes, ‘Well, what does that mean?’ And ‘I feel unsatisfied’ or ‘I’m not feeling like you came for the characters’ or whatever. … We feel like we’ve completed this story and the next chapter of Once Upon a Time will be completely different.”
If the show returns, will you miss Morrison’s Emma Swan?
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays, 8 p.m. on ABC.