As “Supernatural” heads into its 12th season this fall, the cast and creative team of the cult-favorite CW drama returned Sunday to a packed Hall H at Comic-Con International for a preview of what’s to come — including a new, but familiar, vessel for Lucifer: musician/actor Rick Springfield.
Producers Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb were joined by stars Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester), Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester), Misha Collins (Castiel), Mark Shepard (Crowley), Ruth Connell (Rowena), and – as a surprise to the audience — Samantha Smith, who has made occasional appearances on the series, as a ghost or in flashback, as mother Mary Winchester.
It was revealed at the end of Season 11 that Mary is alive, resurrected by Amara (aka the primordial entity known as the Darkness) as a gift to Dean. She’ll now be a series regular.
“There’s a lot to consider — being dead, now alive — with a big gap in the middle,” Smith said. “My sons are now older and taller than I am. I’ve always loved Mary, and to be able to experience her from a whole different perspective is incredibly fun for me.”
“It certainly presents a dynamic that we haven’t ever had,” Ackles said. “The interesting thing is when Mom left, Sam was a baby and Dean was a child. The children that she knew are now men, so the relationship was nonexistent. It’s going to be an interesting situation of them trying to bridge that massive gap that occurred over that past 30-odd years. It also brings into question how is she going to plug herself into their lives? Is that going to leave the brothers vulnerable? The bad guys could use Mary, who also used to be a hunter, to hurt the boys.”
Because Mary hasn’t been around for most of the boys’ lives, “she’s been mythologized to them,” Dabb said. “She does have a lot in common with them as hunters. She’ll be coming back into that.” He added that although having a mother is something they deeply want, Sam and Dean “more than anybody else understand that family can be a vulnerability and lead to an attack.”
Padalecki added, “We find out more about what family means and how you become family. It’s not always blood; it’s pain, it’s triumphs. Now, Sam and Dean with their mother are starting anew. It’s going to be fun to explore that dynamic: Does blood make you family, or is it more than just sharing the same DNA?”
Dabb said that Castiel, knowing how important Mary is to Dean and Sam’s origin story, “also has a very specific response to her and a very cool bond with her of his own.”
“There’s an interesting little dynamic between the two of us — because in a way, we are outsiders, and we’re sharing something in that,” said Collin, who revealed that Castiel will “get his mojo back.”
“Cas is back to a little bit of Cas from Season 4,” he said. “He’s angry and he’s in a fighting spirit. He’s after Lucifer. Now that Mary is back, he’s also tattle-tailing on the boys a lot.”
Lucifer will try out a number of new bodies in Season 12 “The first vessel he feels comfortable with is a rock star,” Singer said. “His name is Vince Vincente. We’ll be seeing him in a couple of episodes early in the season.”
Dabb said Springfield is perfect for the role. “Lucifer got what he wanted last season — his face-to-face with God,” he said. “Now he’s out in the world. We see Lucifer on vacation and he wants to have fun. This is a real role. Great actors have played this before on the show like Mark Pellegrino and Misha Collins, so we needed someone who can act. Most rock stars can only sing and very few can act. If you’ve seen ‘Ricki and the Flash’ or ‘True Detective,’ Springfield is really great.”
The other big question raised in last season’s finale is the fate of Sam, who was last seen approaching a Woman of Letters, and then possibly being shot. Padalecki put the fans’ minds at ease, assuring them that Sam will be OK.
“He’s a Win-chester, not a Lose-chester,” he said, earning a laugh and a few groans from the audience.
“Supernatural” returns Thursday, Oct. 13, on The CW.
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