If you're a member of the Supernatural family, then you're well aware that filming has begun on The CW and EP Jensen Ackles' spinoff prequel series pilot The Winchesters. Centered on Dean (Ackles) and Sam Winchester's (Jared Padalecki) parents – John (Drake Rodger) and Mary (Meg Donnelly) – and told from the perspective of Dean Winchester, The Winchesters tells the epic love story of how John & Mary met and how they put it all on the line to not only save their love but the entire world. Supernatural co-EP Robbie Thompson is writing and executive producing, with Ackles and Danneel Ackles executive producing via their Chaos Machine Productions banner (in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Studios). Speaking with TVLine while watching filming on the pilot, Ackles offered some more intel on what viewers can expect. Here are some of the highlights:
Ackles Had His Doubts That a Series Like "The Winchesters" Could Work at First: "To be honest, I was like, 'I don't know if we can do this' and then it took [writer] Robbie [Thompson] and me sitting down going like, 'Well, we know we have to do this, and we know we have to do that, but if we just connect those dots with a straight line, that's not entertaining. That's boring. That's a simple story. If we connect those dots in a much crazier, wild 'Supernatural' way, then we've got a show.' So that's what we've been doing."
"The Winchesters" Won't Change SPN Mythology But It Will Expand Upon It: "That's kind of the exciting thing, in my opinion, is that the waypoints or the tentpoles that were established on the mothership, as we lovingly call it, those will get touched on. But we'll get to those waypoints in a way that we probably didn't expect. And that's what we're really having fun with is, like, the story is coming together. It's not the washed version. It's not the sugar-coated version of how mom and dad met. This is like what really happened. But we do play into the moments that were discussed and that were talked about,just maybe in a slight varied way that seems like, 'Whoa, wait, we knew that happened, but I didn't know that's why it happened or that's how it happened.'"
Wait… We Thought John Didn't Discover Demons & Hunting Until AFTER Mary's Death? "Obviously, we've got a massive fix for that. But we get to that point, and we play the 'Ooh, that's why' kind of a thing."
Is Ackles Interested in Adding the "Director" Title to His Resume If "The Winchesters" Goes to Series? "I hope so. Obviously, I gotta get approved by the studio, but I think they know me, so I might have a good chance" [laughs].
Donnelly's Mary Campbell is a 19-year-old who's been fighting the forces of darkness for most of her life. After losing someone close to her, she considers quitting the family business — until her father's disappearance and the arrival of newcomer John Winchester forces her to lead a new team. Rodger's John Winchester has recently returned from Vietnam. Selfless and clear-headed, he finds a new mission back home, where traces of his father's past lead him to a secret organization and a whole new war as a hunter. Nida Khurshid's (Station 19) Latika Desai is fiercely intelligent and braver than she believes. A young hunter-in-training, Latika Desai uses research and problem-solving skills to help her face her fears in battling dark forces. Newcomer Jojo Fleites's Carlos Cervantez is easygoing, confident, and a natural when it comes to fighting demons. But most of all, Carlos is a boost of positivity for the team as it takes on more serious threats. Bianca Kajlich plays John's mother, Millie Winchester, grandmother to Dean and Sam. Kajlich's Millie is hard-working, tough, and has done the bulk of parenting in her family for the past 15 years. She has always worried John, a Vietnam veteran, would take after his father and wanted to prevent him from pursuing a dangerous life. She is now coming to grips with the fact that this is exactly what John plans to do. Demetria McKinney's Ada Monroe is a bookstore owner who also takes interest in the mysteries of the occult.