Now that the “Supernatural” panel has moved to Comic-Con’s Hall H, it’s much harder to get inside. But we didn’t have to wait in line for the goods on Season 8 – we were able to sit down and chat with the cast and crew of the show and have the answers you seek right here.
First up was executive producer Jeremy Carver, who is returning to the show as new co-showrunner (with Robert Singer) after spending the last two years on Syfy’s “Being Human” with his wife, Anna Fricke. He’ll have with him the same staff of writers and directors as last year, except Sera Gamble, whom he’s replacing. What he’s most looking forward to is telling the story in a different way.
We’ll have lots of flashbacks filling in what happened while Sam and Dean were separated for the past year or so (they will have been reunited already when the season opens). And he’s enjoying revisiting the brothers – they’ve matured and become different people.
The theme of this season is about the quest Sam and Dean embark upon. “This time it’s personal” and ties back to the earlier days of the show. The arc for the season leads into plans for future seasons as well; the mythology is “planting things.”
As for his favorite “monster of the week” this year, it has something to do with vampires who enjoy boating. (Which is pretty hilarious because during the “Being Human” panel, in a totally unrelated tangent they went off on, the subject of “vampirates” came up.)
Jared Padalecki joined us next, and of course the first thing he did was show off a picture he received this morning from home of his new baby boy. Awww. He’s excited that although they’re together again at the start, Sam and Dean have individual stories this year with separate flashbacks of Dean in Purgatory and Sam walking away from the life with no guilt but then being dragged back into it.
His new love interest who’s being introduced in Episode 3 (which is directed by Jensen Ackles) has also experienced a loss, and Sam finally finds someone he can tell about his past. He comes out of the darkness a bit and approaches the job he and Dean take on at the beginning of the season as his last.
Mark Sheppard couldn’t tell us much about what’s in store for the King of Hell, but he did say this is an exciting and interesting time with the new showrunner on board. Best of all, everyone knows they can’t kill Crowley – no one would believe it anyway! The only downside to the character is we can’t have him around too much since it’s a hero show.
Misha Collins told us that the mystery of where Castiel went at the end of Season 7 is resolved fairly quickly (he first shows up again in Episode 2), and we’ll learn more via the flashbacks. He may have had his own agenda, or he may have been trying to protect Dean. When asked if we’ll see more of him this year than last, all he could say was “I hope so!”
Jensen Ackles (running on no sleep, having worked until 4:30 AM and then hopping on a plane at 8:00 AM to get to San Diego in time for the 11:15 AM “Supernatural” panel) described the episode he’s directing as a bit of one-off.
As for the changes in the brothers since last year, Dean has returned with clarity and understands his purpose is to do what he does best whereas Sam wants to find Kevin and learn answers to the bigger picture. This shift in Dean gives him a purpose, and constantly reinventing the character like the writers do helps him as an actor. Speaking of the writers, the episode he’s directing was written by Eugenie Ross-Leming (who is Robert Singer’s wife) and Brad Buckner.
Next we spoke with Jim Beaver, who joked he’s planning to make “a sequel to that abominable snowman movie” (which is a reference to his numerous tweets about filming an unnamed abominable snowman movie in the mountains of British Columbia when, in fact, he was shooting “Supernatural”). We wondered if Bobby might be in Purgatory with Dean, but he only said, “That would be a lovely idea.” He doesn’t know exactly where ghosts go in the world of the show, but the powers-that-be are very good at explaining away inconsistencies so he could be anywhere.
What he enjoys about playing Bobby is “his drive to beat whatever evil is out there.” And even though everything the character has been through has been a delight to play, being vengeful was a lot of fun. As for if and when we might next see him in Season 8, all we got out of him is that “hope springs eternal!”
We closed out the interviews with writer/consulting producer Ben Edlund, who’s been responsible for some of the show’s most unique and unconventional episodes, including last season’s fan favorite meta installment “The French Mistake”, which he said we could possibly see another permutation of this year. He’d like to do more absurdist throw-away episodes and maybe delve more into the angels, whom he sees as having “diseased caretaker status” over and separate from the rest of humanity.
Look for “Supernatural” to return to The CW on Wednesday, October 3rd.
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