When Supernatural wrapped its run in November 2020, loyal fans still weren’t ready to say goodbye to Sam, Dean, Castiel and the rest of the crew. As it turns out, 15 seasons and 327 episodes just weren’t enough to satisfy the hordes of fans out there. That’s why the upcoming spinoff, The Winchesters, is generating plenty of excitement.
Whether you consider yourself part of the SPNFamily or you were an early watcher of the show and you’re just curious about this new take, rev up those Chevy Impalas and read on to learn everything you need to know about this new show before it debuts.
Long before Sam and Dean there were John and Mary Winchester. This drama is an origins story that delves into the Winchester parents’ relationship and how it came to be. According to an official show synopsis, it’s, “The epic, untold love story of how John met Mary and how they put it all on the line to not only save their love, but the entire world.”
According to Drake Rodger, who plays young John in the series, this love story is kind of like what might happen if “Romeo and Juliet had demons, everyone died and then came back to life several times.” As he tells Etalk, “Where we start is two polar opposite places. They’re not similar at all.”
In addition to Rodger, Meg Donnelly has been cast to play young Mary Campbell, Sam and Dean’s eventual mom. Fans may recognize Donnelly from her role as the oldest kid on American Housewife, or from several of her Disney projects.
“Going to The Winchesters is definitely a step into more mature roles, which is amazing and something I have wanted to do,” she tells Etalk. “It wasn’t like, my master plan of things, but it’s surreal it worked out that way.”
The gig is surreal for Rodger too—he says Jensen Ackles and Supernatural are large reasons why he became an actor in the first place and that he used to imitate Dean growing up. “I grew up watching Supernatural and I’m actually a pretty big fan,” he explains. “It’s been a surreal experience getting to work with Jensen. So now to be almost peers with him is ridiculous.”
Bianca Kajlich, Demetria McKinney, Michael Tacconi, Lacey Dover and Nida Khurshid round out the onscreen cast.
The bad news is Sam is not back, but the good news is that Dean is. Well, sort of. Ackles is an executive producer on this show and a large reason why it’s happening. So he’s back as Dean Winchester to narrate this story. Jared Padalecki, however, is busy with his own new series, Walker.
Ackles and his wife, Danneel Ackles (who previously guest-starred on Supernatural), formed their production company, Chaos Machine Productions, around the same time Supernatural ended. At the time they felt as though there was more to the show’s world, and Ackles specifically felt like Dean would have wanted to know more about his parents’ love. Thus, The Winchesters was born.
“The feedback has been great so far,” Donnelly says about the franchise’s incredible fanbase. “Some people have actually made t-shirts, there’s all of this fan-made merch out already and it is so surreal.”
Thanks to the power of social media, fans followed along as The Winchesters was developed and greenlit to series. Apparently, one of those fans was Padalecki, who found out this was all happening on Twitter, too.
“Dude. Happy for you. Wish I heard about this some way other than Twitter,” he wrote to Ackles. “I’m excited to watch, but bummed that Sam Winchester had no involvement whatsoever.”
Since then the pair have met up and ironed things out, however. According to Rodger and Donnelly, both Jensen and Padalecki were invaluable guides as they were piecing together their characters. “Jared sat down with us in New York and had coffee with us and he was just an open book,” reveals Rodger. “He’s been an amazing resource for us.”
So far neither Samantha Smith, who played Mary on Supernatural, nor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who played John, have been involved in the show. But Donnelly and Rodger say they’d be pumped to have a conversation with either of them—especially Rodger, the Supernatural super fan.
“I definitely would love to sit down and just have a conversation over coffee but I'd also love to sit down and have a conversation about character and get his take,” he says. “Because all I'm trying to do is service his portrayal of John. That’s my goal, to service what he established. So any feedback he has would be great.”
Although Supernatural filmed in Vancouver, Canada won’t be the home base to this prequel series. Instead, the action shifts to New Orleans and according to the stars the location switch gives the series an even eerier vibe.
“I don't do well with like, jump scares and scary things like demonic beings but filming is really fun,” says Donnelly. “It's really fun to step into that world, especially in New Orleans, because it's so spooky over there. We filmed in some crazy locations, like cemeteries and civil war bunkers. It was wild, but it was great.”
The Winchesters debuts this fall on CTV Sci-Fi Channel, CTV.ca/Sci-Fi and the CTV app on Android and iOS. You can also stream episodes on-demand the next day on CTV Sci-Fi Channel and on the CTV app on Android and iOS.
You sure can.