#SDCC 2013: Jared Padalecki, Robert Singer, and Jeremy Carver Talk Supernatural Season 9
The SDCC press room for "Supernatural" was packed to the gills as usual so we didn't get to speak with everyone, but what we did come back with is juicy as hell for fans of the show. Read on for all our Season 9 scoops, including a wacky sounding Wizard of Oz tie-in!
First to chat with us was executive producer Robert Singer, and in addition to surprising our group with the first word on a possible "Supernatural" spinoff, he described the new season as their "most character-driven yet," which is saying a lot when you think about it. With Crowley, Castiel, and the boys all mixed up, he and co-exec producer Jeremy Carver are "developing the characters and relationships on another plane... There still will be a lot of action with angels on earth and demons without a leader" and running amok.
By the end of Episode 1, something happens to Sam and Dean that "takes their relationship to a new place." Dean makes a decision he may have second thoughts about regarding Sam.
Singer, the only original member of the producing team still left on the show, feels confident the upcoming storyline is fresh. Because he can still get charged up for a new season, he's back again! "Fans won't be disappointed," he promised.
People always talk about Season 10 being the final one, and Singer said, "We'll shoot for ten and see what happens." The magic number for him 200 episodes.
When asked about his favorite villains, his answer was similar to what a lot of us would say: Mark Sheppard's Crowley and Mark Pellegrino's Lucifer. He added that there are "so many that have been great… Lilith and Naomi." Those actors were willing to "go for it" and truly loved the characters. He emphasized that there are "no restrictions on ideas" for the writers. They encourage "out-of-the-box thinking and villains."
When asked about flashbacks, Singer teased that Episode 4, in which Felicia Day will reappear as Charlie, ties in the past of the Men of Letters to the present in an "interesting way." As for new characters, he said so many of the regular actors are so well established now with their character arcs peaking, they haven't thought of any yet, although he's sure, of course, that they will.
Series co-star Jared Padalecki joined us next and said he's "more excited about shooting this season than any other" so far. He added these are the "best first five episodes [he's] read, including Season 1." He enthused further, "This is gonna be badass. As an actor, a fan of the show, and a reasonable part of the show (laughs all around), I'm really excited. It's very cool. It'll explain how Sam [gets] better... when at the end of last year he was clearly not getting better. Dean says, 'Stop the trials, and you're not gonna die,' and Sam's like, 'Okay!' and stops the trials, but clearly he did not get better. So sometime between that and Episode 2 of Season 9, he gets better. You'll find out immediately. I just wish I could talk about it."
When asked about a theme for Season 9, Padalecki explained, "One of the great things we didn't do last season is [that] we didn't kill somebody or start an apocalypse or do something where it seemed final; and I think one of the reasons was we [already] knew before the [season finale] episode was written that [we] were going to have another 23 episodes afterward. So it's almost like we're treating Seasons 8 and 9 like one 46-episode season as opposed to these false breaks… It's continuous, and we pick up right where we left off. Not right there in the church, but in a couple of hours' time or an hour's time, you know."
"The overarching theme is that the brothers made a commitment to each other in the church that they were going to check in with each other, that they were going to remain partners and on the same track and not like, 'You go do this while I go do that…' After the second trial we know how to cure a demon, and we have the King of Hell in our basement." There'll be some give and take between Crowley and the Winchesters. They'll barter with him and "hit the pavement, do the grunt work of trying to cure demons."
Jared is certain fans are going to think it's badass and is hoping they like his choices as an actor when they see what happens. When asked why fans might NOT like what Sam does, all he'd say was that it had something to do with "how Sam is not dead and seems better."
As we were wrapping up, he mentioned some footage that was shown during the panel, and since we hadn't seen it yet, he described the scenario for us: Sam and Dean show up at the Men of Letters bunker, Kevin doesn't realize they're still alive, and then Sam walks Crowley in with a bag over his head. They sit him down in the dungeon in a devil's trap, pull his bag off, and say, "This is how it's gonna go: You're gonna give us the name of every demon on earth and the human they're possessing." Crowley's like, "Fuck yourself." So obviously he's not giving up that easily. But Sam and Dean still have him. So we know that some time in Episode 2 they put Crowley in their dungeon inside the Men of Letters bunker. And obviously Kevin is there, and Kevin and Crowley don't really have an affection for each other. So they have to convince Kevin to leave Crowley alone and not fall for his tricks. Crowley presumably knows where Kevin's mother is, if she actually is dead, so he's certainly going to try and get in Kevin's head to escape, but we're gonna hope that doesn't happen.
Lastly, we spoke with Jeremy Carver, who also used the "E" word - "excited" - to describe his feelings about Season 9, mostly from a character standpoint. We'll be in a "broken landscape without the normal hell or the normal heaven. Everything's screwed up." Each of the characters, in ways apparent now and more so during the season, are going to be dealing with a "Who am I?" situation, the most obvious being Castiel since he's human now.
"He's human and has to deal with all that entails [plus] being a fugitive from angels who want to exact revenge." He's faced with: "Am I going to be the best human I can be, or am I going to somehow try to rejoin the angelic fight I essentially caused?" The new season will be "full of mini-crises like that."
As Singer mentioned, we'll see more of Charlie pretty early on. Carver reiterated that the episode is "linked with the past" in terms of the Men of Letters. We're going to see "the first two Men of Letters ever to inhabit the bunker. Literally the first two guys turning the key in 1935 and entering this brand new adventure." Things take a turn for the "even more weird, and the first case they are dealing with is connected to the Wizard of Oz. It's fun, emotional, and Charlie is worked in there somewhere. It's really cool." We'll learn a lot more about the Men of Letters with a "big payoff" of what began last season.
Carver tackled the ten-year plan question raised with Singer earlier, saying yes, the overall game plan has been ten years, but things could "shift." He feels his obligation is to keep the show "as fresh as it was in Season 1 [and] not bring it to an unnecessarily premature end." If they keep it fresh and people are watching, his obligation is to keep spinning them out so "it's a tough question to answer." It's still fun, and they're all having a great time.
Everyone knows "Supernatural" fans are some of the most passionate in the world so does Carver worry about negative feedback? He said that their job is to keep things "really, really grounded and relatable," but it's also fun to create a little controversy. He concluded, "You may not agree with some of the decisions the characters make early on this year, but you will understand them."
We can't wait to see which camp we fall in when "Supernatural" returns Tuesday, October 15th. For more info visit "Supernatural" on cwtv.com, "like" "Supernatural" on Facebook, and follow @CW_spn on Twitter.
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