When a series lasts as long as “Supernatural,” which is heading into its 12th season, it’s easy for it to fall off the rails and/or just go through the motions; but that definitely hasn’t been the case here. In fact, Season 11 could have been one of the show’s best yet, so we’re pretty excited about Season 12, especially since it sees the return of Mary Winchester and some pretty interesting guest casting news that was revealed at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con.
Per Variety, during today’s “Supernatural” panel at SDCC, it was announced by co-showrunner/exec producer Robert Singer that real-life musician/actor Rick Springfield will portray one of “a few new vessels” Lucifer will be “trying out” as he take a “vacation” from the politics of trying to take over heaven or hell. Our first thought: Will Springfield be playing himself? His role is described as a fading rock star who is attempting a comeback so make of that what you will. He’s currently filming in Vancouver.
As for Castiel, who served as Lucifer’s vessel for much of last season, Misha Collins says he’s most like Season 4’s version of the character. He’s gotten “much of his mojo back… he’s angry and he’s in a fighting spirit and he’s after Lucifer. And now that Mary’s back, he’s tattletaling a lot.”
Speaking of Mary, played by Samantha Smith, series star Jensen Ackles said that having her back “presents a dynamic we haven’t had… The children that she knew are now men, the relationship is kind of nonexistent, so it’s going to be an interesting situation of them trying to bridge the gap that occurred over the last thirty-some years.”
Ackles’ co-star Jared Padalecki echoed his sentiments, “It’s going to be an interesting dynamic to have someone 100 percent our blood; 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, they’re starting anew; it’s going to be fun to explore that dynamic: Does blood make you family, or is it more than sharing the same DNA?”
Co-showrunner/exec producer Andrew Dabb added, “…this [reunion with Mary] is something that they deeply want, but they know family can be a vulnerability, so there’s some protectiveness [over her]. We wanted to get back to family; this is the closest we’ve been to that since Season 1.”
She’s also likely to join Sam and Dean on their hunts… “It’ll be interesting to see the similarities in how she deals with the supernatural and how the boys deal with it,” Ackles said.
And how might she and Castiel get along? Per Dabb, they’ll have a “cool dynamic,” with Misha Collins teasing that since they are both outsiders, they’ll have an interesting bond.
If there’s a theme to this season, it seems to be “back to basics,” according to Singer. “You don’t get bigger than God; we can’t top all that,” he said, adding that they’ll “tell smaller stories — some good old fashioned horror stories” in Season 12. In addition, Sheriff Jody, Donna, Claire, and Alex will all be returning.
As for Sam’s encounter with a woman from the British arm of the Men of Letters that ended Season 11, Padalecki promised we’ll learn more about Lady Toni Bevell (guest star Elizabeth Blackmore) and the organization’s position as a “worldwide society” in the weeks to come. Sam is alive – for now – but definitely not safe.
Saving the best for last, Crowley (Mark Sheppard) is still fuming and “wants revenge” on Lucifer for the events of last season. Dabb said there will be an expanded focus on the demon’s family, including mother Rowena (Ruth Connell) and long-lost son Gavin early on “that will be a driving force, the family stuff. Crowley’s relationship with the guys has evolved nicely over the course of the last two seasons too, so we want to continue that.”
“Supernatural” returns on October 13th so expect lots more between now and then, including the footage shown during today’s panel.