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?”