San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Supernatural Panel: How Do You Top the End of the World?
It's become a Dread Central tradition to close out our Comic-Con work week with the "Supernatural" panel. Few sessions are as funny, informative, and entertaining year after year. And 2010 was no exception. All the tidbits and mini-spoilers Kripke and crew revealed can be found here, along with a description of the clip that was shown from Episode 4 of the upcoming Season 6, "Weekend at Bobby's", directed by Jensen Ackles.
Instead of making the audience wait until the end of the panel for the really good stuff, "Supernatural" always starts things off with video, in this case the aforesaid "Weekend at Bobby's" sneak peek, which Ackles introduced. Even though it's not the season opener, they shot it first to give him time for prep and so he can then return to straight acting throughout the rest of the episodes. Here's the description of a scene between Bobby Singer and the demon/angel Crowley, which followed a quick montage recap of Season 5.
A TV newscast from Galveston, Texas, reports the end of 10-foot swells and 150-mph winds as Hurricane Tiffany winds down. Residents can expect more sun and back to normal conditions. Bobby, who's listening, is invoking a spell of some sort. Crowley appears, telling Bobby to "cheer up, mate!" Bobby, of course, is having none of it and offers him a drink. Nope, Bobby's six-day old rot gut isn't good enough. Cutting to the chase, Bobby asks for his soul back. He lived up to his side of the bargain; the world was saved. But Crowley taunts him, "Didn't you read the contract ... 'use best efforts'. Meaning I'd like to, but can't." Bobby calls him a lying sack of shit. "Leopard ... spots. Ten years," says Crowley. Yeah, Bobby kind of figured he'd say that and flips the black light on. Crowley is trapped in a special symbol drawn on Bobby's floor. Dogs, presumably hellhounds, growl. "Ball's in your court, Robert."
And with that out came newly promoted showrunner Sera Gamble, creator Eric Kripke, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Jim Beaver, and co-executive producer/writer Ben Edlung. Here are the highlights:
What is Kripke's involvement in the show now that he's passed the torch to Sera? He joked he's the "loving, gentle pain in Sera and [executive producer] Bob [Singer]'s asses ... fuzzy hemorrhoids." As we've mentioned in previous stories, he's still around and offering advice, ideas, etc.
What can we expect in Season 6? Gamble promises monsters -- more monsters this season than ever. The last few years have been epic, but she misses the boys shooting monsters in the face so look for still a bit of mythology but with monsters looped in.
Ackles was asked how difficult it was to both direct and act in "Weekend at Bobby's", but for five out of the eight days of the shoot, he only had to direct. Look for the episode to be very Dean-lite.
Of course the question was asked of Padalecki: How did Sam get out of hell? And of course he couldn't tell us. "I have no idea ... that's a question for Eric and Sera," was all he said.
With regard to Castiel's role now that the apocalypse is over, Collins explained that he's "on clean-up detail in heaven." From what little he knows about the storyline, he described it as being like post-Soviet Russia with the government in disarray, and he's helping form a functioning coalition. Then he breaks out his Russian accent.
Poor Bobby -- Will he ever get a girl friend or be able to keep his soul? According to Beaver hell will freeze over before Bobby gets the girl, although, as the other panel members joked, this is "Supernatural" we're talking about. Hell could very easily freeze over one day. He also said that Bobby and Crowley will have their confrontation. But no more kissing.
Edlund, whose episodes are always dark, twisted, and insanely creepy, spoke of a new one that's "just insane." One with "some of the fairy." He talked about walking a tightrope as "little people" will be involved. Apparently the boys have to fight a tiny pinprick of light - Tinkerbell. Edlund's "rich in absurdity" description sounds just about right!
Gamble discusses the female characters we can look forward to in Season 6: One is new - Sam and Dean's relative on their mother's side, a Campbell. And yes, Lisa Braeden (played by Cindy Sampson) will be back.
The "Supernatural" anime project was brought out. Sadly, it's not being made available in the US, although Kripke said if enough calls and emails get to Warner Brothers requesting it, they might change their minds. He loves the idea - so much stuff in it they can't do on TV. Tentacles! Jensen and Jared re doing voice work in a couple of the chapters.
Then a biggie: Was Chuck God? Of course we didn't get an answer. Per Kripke it's "open to interpretation." A side conversation ensues about "M. Night Douchy" and how coming out and saying Chuck is God would be an "M. Night-level douche" move. Hilarious.
In a head-scratcher, Jensen was asked what advice he'd give himself about directing Jensen Ackles, and he said, "You don't have to convince me to do anything." Although he doesn't consider himself a *director*, he does appreciate the opportunity. So far the other guys -- Jared, Jim, and Misha -- aren't interested in following in his footsteps.
On the flip side, Beaver was asked about Ackles' abilities as a director, and he said he'd never felt more secure or well guided as an actor than when Jensen was directing him.
Who wouldn't love to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan back on the show? But he's a busy guy ... a movie star! As Gamble mentioned (and we've known for a while now), we will be seeing Mitch Pileggi's return as the boys' grandfather.
Jared was asked about the challenges of playing against himself during his Lucifer phase. He laid out three typical techniques he could have chosen from: look in a mirror, have another actor stand in, or use a photograph. He opted instead to use a small piece of tape. And then had to confess he hasn't even seen the final footage yet as he's a "few episodes behind." Again, hilarious.
J&J did some joking about their chemistry. Jared claims it's not real ... he's just acting. Jensen pipes up with, "He's not that good of an actor."
Did changes have to be made to Kripke's vision of the finale once the renewal was confirmed? "There wouldn't have been as many living characters," Kripke taunted us. In the end it was about 80% as planned.
Sera was asked about the show's large female audience, and while she acknowledged there are a lot of good-looking men on it, she also brought up a very valid point that she's always been a horror/genre fan and so are a lot of her friends so no, it's no surprise.
Will we be seeing the Ghostfacers? It depends on the storyline, but don't forget to check them out online Ghostfacers.com).
The "favorite episode" question came up, and Jensen reminded the questioner there have been 107 of them. But Jared had a great answer: the premiere and finale of each season. For Misha it's the one where the guys were chasing this monster demony thing. The Impala was in it, too! Beaver hates the demon eps since "all that spiritual/supernatural stuff takes away from the show." By then Jensen had an answer: the funny ones like "Hollywood Babylon, "Changing Channels", and "Monster Movie".
For Kripke actually watching the final episode was bittersweet. It was great to be able to wrap up every issue the show was about and express his message about family, to be so clear and have all the mythology come together. But then he went online and read some not so positive comments from a few of the fans. He had a moment of feeling horribly misunderstood but then moved on. [And no doubt the outpouring of love in Ballroom 20 today will help some more in that regard.]
At last we got to a few more spoilers. We'll be seeing a real progression for Dean in Season 6. Twelve months have passed. He's domesticated and living a somewhat normal life. But it's all about how he gets pulled back into the hunting life and learns to deal with who he really is. And, in answer to a fan's question, so far the only demons he'll be kissing this year are his own.
To close out the Q&A, J&J were asked to name their favorite monsters. For Jared it's the shapeshifters. Jensen prefers Todd Stashwick's Dracula from "Monster Movie." And then he brings down the house with a promise that he "will be killing some vampires properly this year. Cut this pasty, waify shit out!"
As the participants left the stage, another "Supernatural" tradition began: our first look at the gag reel from the Season 5 DVD/Blu-ray sets. What else can I say but ... hilarious.
As for these last three pictures, they're not the best quality-wise, but if you're a fan of the show and know the characters, they should give you a chuckle or two.
- Debi Moore
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San Diego Comic-Con 2010: The Vampire Diaries Panel and Season 2 Premiere Video Descriptions
One panel we were really looking forward to at this year's San Diego Comic-Con was "The Vampire Diaries" on Saturday, July 24th; and while the cast and crew who participated were great, most of the questions asked by the fans during the Q&A didn't do much in the way of gleaning info on the upcoming season. Luckily the powers-that-be provided those of us in attendance with a montage clip of the Season 2 premiere, which we have a description of following the session's highlights.