The stars of Supernatural took to San Diego Comic-Con today to tease season 9.
Stars Jared Padalecki (Sam), Jensen Ackles (Dean), Misha Collins (Castiel), and Mark Sheppard (Crowley) were joined by executive producers Jeremy Carver and Bob Singer in Hall H. Felicia Day (Charlie) later joined the panel.
The panel opened with a highlight reel from season 8:
Fans were also treated a sneak peek from a season 9 episode featuring a Hunger Games joke when Kevin fires a crossbow at Dean. Sam then enters the Men of Letters bunker with Crowley, demanding the names of every demon on Earth and their hosts. When Crowley refuses, Sam decides to leave him in solitary confinement, which Sam calls Crowley’s “own personal hell.”
Once the panelists were introduced, Carver began with a tease for season 9: “We’re going to learn pretty quickly that a world full of fallen angels is pretty much a free-for-all,” he said.
“With angels on earth, it’s not one unified body, we’ve got lots of angels out” and “many are feeling lost and scared and vengeful.” This is “lending itself to some very exciting and wonderful character moments for all of our characters to be dealing with,” Carver added.
“A world of fallen angels is a dirty, bloody, scary and in some ways very human world, and we’re really really excited to explore that.”
Carver also elaborated on Sam and Dean, who finally seemed to leap a hurdle in their relationship in the season 8 finale. “[T]he brothers chose each other and their love for each other over the season-long quest,” he said. “That’s left them stronger than ever but has also created a tremendous amount of fall out.
“All the normal constructs of heaven and hell aren’t the same anymore. The King of Hell isn’t in residence and heaven isn’t running how its usually ran.”
The disintegration of the natural order has been a running theme over the last few seasons of Supernatural, including the Apocalypse in season 5. But the cast is happy to keep telling these stories. “Thankfully we have fans who want us to keep fighting the fight,” Padalecki said.
“We’ll keep fighting the fight together, and with angels on earth and the king of hell in our dungeon, we’re really going to need each other more than ever.”
Meanwhile, Collins described Castiel becoming human as a “remarkable shift” for both his character and the Winchesters. “[P]rior to this season he’s been equipped with all sorts of powers and capacities that made him a useful tool for the brothers.”
But “now he can pop in and basically fold laundry, so there’s a shift in the dynamic there in terms of how he can be utilized at the outset of the season.”
Collins is excited for Castiel’s arc, which he called “an immensely rich terrain to explore.” Castiel will be “down in the dirt and the filth of being a human,” such as “what it’s like to eat and then what happens to the food after you eat it.”
The captive King of Hell
As for Crowley, who was nearly cured as a result of the trials to close the gates of Hell, Sheppard said the incomplete spell “has had a profound effect on him whether he likes it or not. Hopefully we’ll go on a little journey to find out what kind of effect it has on him.”
The Men of Letters
Another major storyline of season 8 was the introduction of the Men of Letters, a secret society of which the Winchesters are legacies. According to Singer, the Men of Letters bunker that the brothers took over is “the first actual permanent set we’ve had. It’s also a treasure trove of information, there’s rooms in the [bunker] we haven’t explored yet.”
For Dean, the bunker is “as close to home as we’re going to get” while Sam looks at it as a workplace, “but he’s comfortable in the academic pursuits one can explore” with the Men of Letters’ resources, “so that’s something we’ll see this season.”
Returning cast members
Another character we will see again in season 9 is Charlie, and on cue Day “crashed” the panel when Singer pretended to insult her. After Jared and Misha separated them, Day officially joined the panel.
“We love her. We have big plans for her this year, and she is a delight.” Singer said.
“I’m thrilled to be back,” Day said. “It’s always amazing when you have a gift of a character that you want to play all the time. I’m very blessed to be working with these amazing men and their perfect hair.” She then joked that “this show needs a teflon vagina.”
On the brothers’ motivations
When asked what keeps Dean going, Ackles said, “What keeps him motivated is his sense of duty to fight the good fight, it’s his duty to his brother, his family, it’s what he signed on to do.”
He added, “I think when Dean got back from Purgatory, there was a real sense of clarity in that mission, to be alongside his brother and driving that beast of a machine and rocking out to some true rock and roll. And pie.”
According to Padalecki, “Sam’s just trying to do what he thinks is right, I think he’s accepted that his life’s not going to be normal, finally, so he’s trying to make the world a better place.” He added, “Sometimes he errs, but that’s the beauty of it.”
We learned that Ackles is very proprietary about the Impala and is determined that Collins will not get to drive it now that Castiel is human.
Padalecki confessed to considering directing, as his costars have done or are preparing to do, but says that it is not the right time for him with his young son.
It was then revealed that Collins will direct episode 17 this season. “I’d like to thank Jeremy and Bob for the opportunity and apologize in advance for the product,” he joked.
The panel concluded with the gag reel, which we’ll be able to see on the Supernatural Season 8 DVD and Blu-ray, released on September 10. Season 9 premieres October 15 at 9:00 p.m. EST on The CW.