Because 15 seasons simply wasn’t enough, Supernatural is officially getting a prequel series. This is per Variety, which reports that The CW has offered a script commitment to The Winchesters, a series that will center on the lives of the parents of dedicated monster hunters Sam and Dean, delving into all the details that somehow weren’t covered in the first 327 installments of the extraordinarily long-running show.
The series is being executive produced by Supernatural star Jensen Ackles and his wife (and occasional co-star), Danneel Ackles, through their Chaos Machine Productions banner. Jensen Ackles’ Dean will also feature on the series as its narrator, serving as the Old Sheldon to his parents’ various monster-battling antics. (“Bazinga!” no one, presumably, will cry as they impale a werewolf.) The series is being co-produced by Robbie Thompson, who wrote and produced a large chunk of the flagship series.
The Winchesters—which will focus on the early life and courtship of Winchester parents John and Mary, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Samantha Smith in the, uh, parent series—isn’t the first spin-off that’s been developed to continue the Supernatural legacy. TV ghost hunters the Ghostfacers got their own web show back in 2010, while Wayward Sisters, a series centered on Kim Rhodes’ character Sheriff Jody Mills, was developed a few years before the show’s finale, but ultimately passed on in 2018. Will The Winchesters be the spin-off to break the curse (one of, roughly, 8 million curses that happened on Supernatural every season)? Who’s going to get stuck playing young Jeffrey Dean Morgan? Will there be an in-universe explanation for why Dean is peeping on his parents in the past, or is this just a Wonder Years thing where we’re not supposed to question who the hell Daniel Stern is talking to? Will this show be yet another boon for the discography of Kansas? Only time, and a probably-still-fervent Supernatural fandom, will be able to answer these questions.
Update, 11:06 p.m., 6/24/21: An unexpected development has now cropped up in this story, as Ackles’ old co-star (and current CW Walker star), Jared Padalecki chimed in on Twitter to wish his old colleague luck on the show—and also to express that this is the first he’s hearing about it, and that he’s “bummed that Sam Winchester had no involvement whatsoever” in its development.
We’ll be honest: Our initial assumption is that this was a joke, since Ackles and Padalecki have always reportedly had a pretty good working relationship, and one would at least assume that The CW would inform one of its current stars/producers about these sorts of plans. When asked on social media, though, Padalecki point-blank denied that he was joking, adding that he was “gutted” about the development. (Which could also always be a joke—these wacky TV stars, with their fun comedy lies—but at the very least, it’s a thing he said on the record.)
Supernatural co-star Misha Collins also commented on the announcement, although the tone of his tweet seemed less obviously upset.