'Once Upon a Time' Spinoff Enlists 'Being Human' Star as Knave of Hearts

Michael Socha Knave of Hearts - H 2013

Michael Socha Knave of Hearts - H 2013

ABC's Once Upon a Time spinoff presentation has enlisted its first castmember.

The Alice in Wonderland-themed entry has enlisted Michael Socha as the Knave of Hearts, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

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The Knave is described as a sardonic adventurer, a man of action, loner and heartbreaker -- the proverbial rolling stone. His swagger isn't quite enough to disguise the fact that he is unswervingly loyal and possessed of a strong moral code.

The Knave of Hearts is first mentioned in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, where he is on trial for burglary. Alice eventually defends the Knave after she is called as a witness. Crispin Glover played the role in Tim Burton's Alice feature.

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The Once team -- including Jane Espenson and Zero Hour's Zack Estrin -- will shoot a short "teaser" presentation in April and, should it move to pilot, shoot that in late July or August. Casting is under way to fill other roles including Alice and the mysterious Amahl, with the White Rabbit likely to be animated with a voiceover.

Socha's credits include the BBC's original Being Human, which is ending its run in April. Repped by Ken McReddie Associates in the U.K., the actor's credits also include Homefront, This Is England and Casualty.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit