Supernatural stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki joined co-stars Misha Collins and Mark A. Sheppard and executive producer Jeremy Carver in Hall H at Comic-Con International to discuss the upcoming 10th season of the CW drama – including the historic 200th episode – and to answer questions from fans.
The presentation began with Ackles introducing a video recap of last season, and a new clip from the episode he directed, featuring a possessed Dean Winchester (Ackles) taunting his brother Sam (Padalecki).
Carver said “demonic Dean” will have an enormous effect on the upcoming season, and on the brothers’ relationship. “Sam will work on rescuing his brother from being a demon, and Dean, who is a demon, struggles with what that means,” he explained. “It’s very exciting, and the writers and I are excited with the idea of these brothers questioning who the real monster is.”
Ackles said he enjoyed the challenge of playing a new, “twisted-soul” version of Dean. “It was interesting trying to make it a different character but at the same time be the same character — just twisted and demonic,” he said. “It was even more challenging introducing that character while at the same time directing the episode.” He said “Demon Dean” was tied up for most of the episode to ease his directing duties.
“Demon Dean” will also play role in Castiel’s (Collins) storylines in the new season. “Castiel is getting rebirthed this season,” Collins said. “He is less strong and a lot less fun. At the beginning of the season, Castiel is concerned with trying to get Dean patched up, more so than trying to get back his own powers. His grace is fading.”
Sheppard, who has appeared as the demon Crowley since Season 5, was congratulated on being promoted to series regular.
“On what show?” the actor deadpanned.
“Gilmore Girls,” joked Padalecki, himself a veteran of that drama.
“Oh, great show!” Sheppard replied before turning to Crowley’s relationship with Demon Dean. “Nobody’s ever going to believe that Crowley didn’t know what was going to happen, right? So we have to see whether Crowley has any control at all or whether Crowley’s in charge or what that is. I don’t think we’ll have any idea for at least the next three or four … seasons to come,” he said, generating laughter and cheers from the audience.
The discussion then moved to the topic of the upcoming 200th episode. “We’ve been describing the episode as ‘musical-ish,’” Carver said. “Beyond the songs, it’s very much what we consider to be a love letter to the fans. It’ll be a great show.”
Padalecki was asked to reflect on the pilot episode and how far the series has come. “That was nine and a half years ago,” he said. “I think we knew we were onto something. I think at one point Jensen looked at me when we were filming the pilot and said, ‘Dude, we might get picked up for a season or something.’ And we both had really high-pitched voices because we were 19 years old. It’s humbling. We’ve come so far, thanks to you guys. We hope you know how much you mean to us. We truly, legitimately, and literally would not be here if not for you. Thank you very much.”
He then talked about how great it was to walk by the line for Hall H the night before and see all of the Supernatural fans camping out in a sea of sleeping bags.
Collins commented about how young the two leads were when they started. “You both looked so young,” said the actor, who made his Supernatural debut in the Season 4 premiere. “You have basically spent your entire adult lives on this show. You two were Boyhood before Richard Linklater made Boyhood.”
Ackles chimed in, saying, “It’s humbling in that it was this little show on a network (WB) that was about to merge with another network (UPN). So there was a lot of other stuff going on. We said that maybe if we just keep our head down, and don’t draw any attention, they’ll keep us on the air. We just kept the music loud and the car tuned up, and here we are on Season 10. So thank you.”
The discussion was then opened to questions from the audience. One fan wanted to know whether there will be any female series regulars. “Series regular is a technical term used by the studio,” Carver replied. “You can expect a healthy dose of new and returning very strong, very powerful female characters this season.”
Another audience member came to the microphone wearing an elaborate costume and dark face mask. The person appeared to have trouble speaking through the mask, and went to remove it, revealing Osric Chau (Kevin Tran) beneath. “So when is Kevin coming back on the show?” Chau asked, as the crowd went crazy.
“Now … never,” Carver joked.
“We will never forget,” Ackles whispered.
Collins was asked wether Castiel’s signature tie and trenchcoat would change, as it was modeled after the DC Comics character John Constantine, whose series premieres this fall on NBC.
“I think we should put together a ‘cease-and-desist’ package,” the actor joked. “We have squatter’s rights. It’s our wardrobe now.”
The panel concluded with a screening of the Season 9 gag reel from the upcoming DVD/Blu-ray.
Supernatural Oct. 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.