Close to two months after the airing of the epic Final Battle in the sixth season finale of ABC's urban fantasy fairy tale series 'Once Upon a Time', preparation for season 7 look to be well on hand. In addition to continuing the adventures of various characters from children's stories, both in their native realms and the real modern world, it also serves as a sort of soft reboot for the narrative.

Lead actress Jennifer Morrison has declared her departure from the show barring one guest appearance in a season 7 episode. To make up for the number of actors and corresponding characters taking their final bow in the story, the network is casting new people to carry the next chapter forward.

New casting

In one fell swoop, ABC is introducing five new ladies in the seventh season of 'Once Upon a Time' after casting Gabrielle Anwar, Adelaide Kane, Dania Ramirez, Mekia Cox, and Rose Reynolds. Ramirez and Anwar are being billed as joining the regular cast of which the only three confirmed to have moved on from season 6 are Lana Parrilla, Colin O'Donoghue, Robert Carlyle and Alison Fernandez. Meanwhile, Reynolds, Kane and Cox will be playing recurring characters for season 7.

The show pedigrees of the new faces are quite impeccable. For instance, Anwar had star billing in USA Network's 'Burn Notice' which ended in 2013; so too is Ramirez who was the main stars in 'Devious Maids' which ran until 2016 on Lifetime.

Kane is joining in after being beheaded as Mary Queen of Scots in the recently concluded The CW series 'Reign'. Cox was also recurring on the recently-renewed NBC show 'Chicago Med', while British actress Reynolds was in the BBC TV adaptation of the 'Poldark' novels. Their roles in the seventh season of 'Once Upon a Time' have not yet been revealed.

Other changes

The new casting comes after Jennifer Morrison and five other cast members left the long-running ABC show. Among the other departing actors was young Jared S. Gilmore, who portrayed Henry Mills, the biological son of Emma Swan, and adopted by Regina Mills, played by Lana Parrilla. Due to a time skip employed for season 7 as part of a soft reboot, Gilmore's role will be taken up by Andrew J.

West portraying Henry as an adult, and the new main character after Emma. Another change being implemented in the series is the schedule move to Fridays when the new season begins. 'Once Upon a Time' season 7 will premiere on October 6.