Supernatural is coming up on the rare milestone of 300 episodes! The 14th season doesn’t start until October 11, but you can catch up with season 13 out on DVD and BluRay September 4. BGN sat in on the Supernatural SDCC Panel in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con.
The panel was moderated by Richard Speight Jr., who plays the Angel Gabrielle in season 13 and Loki in previous seasons and Rob Benedict who was God in past seasons and also a prophet who was writing Sam and Dean’s exploits in a novel also titled Supernatural. These guys are better equipped than most to moderated this panel.
The panel featured director Robert Singer, producer Andrew Dabb, writer Eugenie Ross Learning, writer Brad Buckner, Alex Calvert who plays Jack, and of course the stars of Supernatural–Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles), and Cass (Misha Collins). Fans got to ask questions and view a sneak peek of season 14, and more.
The Q&A with fans is where things got interesting. Someone asked Ackles how it felt embodying another character in addition to Dean. In at the end of season 13, Ackles’ character Dean was possessed by the angel Michael. Expect to see Dean carry on as a vehicle for the violent angel. He responded, “Dean is sitting shotgun while Michael is driving. It was a little challenging coming back and playing someone different. But it’s been exciting.
Ackles explained further, “There was some collaboration there. I’m a big fan of the show Peaky Blinders, but definitely, that kind of timeless look is was hoping to have for Michael. Certainly a collaboration with helping with that.” He consulted Christian Hayes, who played Michael before the angel possessed Dean. “I asked Christian, is there anything you keep in mind before going on camera, to keep continuity in the Michael I’m playing.”
Another fan asked what the characters roles are with the apocalypse hunters. They are the folks from the other realm who Sam and Dean brought through the portal at the end of season three. Padalecki answered, “I feel like Sam is taking on more of a leadership role. He’s distracted. He hasn’t shaved in a little bit. Sam without Dean. He sort of needs to take the quests and lessons he has learned from Dean and pass them on to the apocalyptic hunters. A fun new part of Sam.
Other questions from the audience allowed the cast to reveal other details about their struggle with the characters. Calvert explained the struggles of being Jack and answered a fan question about the many kicks he takes to his crotch. He responded, “Jack has been through a lot but really focusing on being kicked in the crotch has helped me get through it.”
They even gave some hint on what to expect from the next season. Producer Andrew Dabb promises a return of the favorite faces we all love from Supernatural.
He said, “well, we’ll try to bring back the faves. But, sometimes some people fall by the wayside. Jody mills will be back, and we will be seeing some other members of the Wayward family as well. Rowena will be back for us.”
A fan then asked for details of that 300th episode but didn’t get far. Singer answered, “I can’t give out that information. Andrew has a plan, but he hasn’t let anyone in on it. I am directing it.”
Padalecki offered, ” a request from Jensen, he thought, again his words not mine. But, he thought the 300 episode should be called 300, and we should be wearing togas.”
Singer also revealed that Ackles often gives input on the wardrobe. “Well anytime Jensen has to dress western or 1930s, this is Jensens input, I want this hat, this coat, and this way.”
Ackles added, “It’s not just the cowboys or old style. I also did that for the dodgeball gym coach–your welcome.”
The panelists really opened up about the recipe for the show’s longevity:
Buckner: The fact that the characters keep evolving. and we keep learning about them. and there’s more of them. The theme is family. The spirit of that in addition to the plot is we are getting more information about people you love
Ross Learning: We bring all of our characters to the brink and somehow they are redeemed. Its redemption, loyalties, time honored themes that we play with[and] with real, likable characters. The audience really likes that journey.
Calvert: The Brotherhood.
Ackles: When you’re doing a show about one central character, its always going to be about that one central character…and that’s the car.
Padalecki: Y’all, [we are] sharing the place in number one with the network and studio is letting us play in it. The relationships amongst the people creating the show are legit. I care about the people we work with. I feel like there is a legitimate sense of family. Supernatural has been lucky. We haven’t been forced to have any contrived romantic relationship. We are telling stories about demons, Lucifer, and ghosts that everyone can relate to.
Collins: I really think it’s about this fandom, largely. There are some unique ingredients that go into this dynamic. That people who have watched this show 14 years ago have grown up with the show. We have all literally grown up with this show. The bond that forms with the cast and you guys with the characters on the show…You start to feel like family. We have forged real emotional bonds and I feel like the audience can’t help but do the same with these characters.
Singer: A lot of shows really accelerate their plots to keep their audience interested, and we kind of slow roll our plots. We can do that with the actors we have and rely on character development and not worry about the push of plot. We have embraced the idea of character-driven stories. That’s why we have lasted so long, we don’t push it.
Of course, the panel had to get a little silly before they left. The last question helped with that. A fan asked what monster would the guys go up against other than those in the Supernatural world.
Singer: No, he’s too scary.
Catch the 14th season of Supernatural October 11. Get the 13th season on DVD and Blu-ray September 4.
Here are more pictures from the panel.