Once Upon A Time season 5 ended with the chilling return of the Evil Queen in Storybrooke and actress Lina Parilla will be seen portraying two characters next season – as Regina and the Evil Queen. Season 6 of OUAT will feature a new format, according to executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis.
During a panel ahead of their upcoming Freeform show, Dead of Summer, Kitsis said, "This season is going to be different from past because it's not going to be Hyde comes to town, we fight with him for 10 episodes, and then in the winter finale, he dies and we move on. We are changing around what we're doing this year and going back to that season 1 mentality of small town stories and smaller arcs."
Horowitz added, "We're also planning a 22-episode story as opposed to breaking it up into two halves this year. It's been really exciting and fun."
He explained that this will provide the opportunity to look at our characters in a different way and spoke about the return of the Evil Queen. He explained, "What's really exciting about it is, for season 6, really being in Storybrooke again. As we hinted in the finale last year, in seeing the Evil Queen [Lana Parrilla] split, it's allowing us to do that for a lot of our characters — not as literally — but it's turning inward on a lot of these characters that we've been with for five seasons so far."
Lana Parrilla previously spoke to Entertainment Weekly about playing dual characters in season 6. "I think it's still being discovered by all of us. Really, what it is, it's not split personality, but it's like two separate Reginas."
"The Evil Queen and the hero Regina. So it's gonna be really fun to play both sides in a different way than I have in the previous five seasons 'cause I've always played two sides. She's always been both, but she's never been split," Parilla teased.
Once Upon A Time season 6 returns on ABC this fall.