We knew the time was coming, what with the sorcerer's apprentice appearing in Season 4 of Once Upon A Time. It's no surprise, then, that Merlin – the sorcerer himself – will arrive in Season 5.
He won't be alone — at least according to casting calls put out by ABC for the hit storybook series. Other legendary characters will also feature heavily in the new season, with one likely setting being Camelot itself.
According to TVLine, Once Upon A Time has a particular look in mind for the actor who will portray Merlin: a black man around 30 to 40 years old, with a natural British accent. The character description states that Merlin is "a man with great wisdom and intelligence beyond his years."
Many noteworthy actors have stepped into those magical shoes, most recently Colin Morgan — who played both young and old versions of the character on the BBC's Merlin television series.
Once Upon A Time plans on populating Season 5 with other familiar characters, including Arthur. This incarnation, however, sounds a bit darker than what we're used to, and his relationship with Guinevere is a rather controlling one. The role also requires an actor with a natural British accent, who is around the same age as Merlin.
Finally, there is no Camelot without the lovely Guinevere, and Once Upon A Time is looking for one of those, too: a Latina in her 20s or 30s who can play a "headstrong" queen.
We know from the stories that Guinevere falls in love with Lancelot, King Arthur's most trusted knight, but interestingly enough, no casting notice has gone out for her role yet. Then again, the Once Upon A Time team could already have someone in mind.
So here's what we know about Once Upon A Time Season 5, from the previous season's finale: Emma Swan disappeared and became the new dark one. It's likely that a visit to Camelot to find Merlin, the most powerful magic-user in all the worlds, will help Emma out of that situation — so Snow White, Prince Charming and Regina, among others, go searching for him. That quest takes them to Camelot, where – as is always the case in magical lands – adventure awaits.
Once Upon A Time returns to ABC this fall.