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SYFY WIRE Jensen Ackles

Jensen Ackles has a gritty idea for a 'Supernatural' revival inspired by HBO's 'True Detective'

The Winchester brothers reuniting for a dark and R-rated adventure? Sign us up, please!

By Josh Weiss
Jensen Ackles in The Boys Season 3

If Sam and Dean Winchester were to ever reunite for another Supernatural adventure, it would have to be dark and it would have to be very R-rated (or TV-MA at the very least). Recently chatting with TV Insider, Jensen Ackles revealed his gritty pitch for a return to the world of The CW series, which concluded after 15 seasons in late 2020.

"I have this lofty dream of when, after things have settled, we’ll tackle one more case as Sam and Dean," he explained. "I’ve got a few ideas. [Maybe] a nice 10-episode short-order for HBO Max — I’m just saying. Like a whole True Detective meets Supernatural. It’s right there."

While that may not be happening anytime soon, Ackles still has a strong connection to the property via The Winchesters, an upcoming prequel spinoff about the budding relationship between Sam and Dean's parents in the 1970s. Narrated and executive produced by Ackles, the project was officially ordered to series last week. Meg Donnelly (High School Musical: The Musical - The Series) and Drake Rodger (The In Between) are locked in to play Mary Campbell and John Winchester, respectively.

When asked about what it was like trying to find the right actors to play the central characters, Ackles stated that he had "a ton" of input on the casting front. "That was probably a much longer, strenuous process than it normally is casting the leads of a new show," he added. "[Finding] John and Mary gave a lot of sleepless nights to a lot of people, including myself."

Nida Khurshid (Station 19) and TV newcomer Jojo Fleites have also been cast as a pair of demon hunters. As for whether any familiar faces will crop up throughout the series, Ackles has already started sending out feelers to previous cast members. Misha Collins should be available to reprise the role of Castiel since he's still part of The CW family with Gotham Knights.

"I’m not only putting a list together but making calls saying, 'Hey, [if this is successful] I just wanted to gauge your interest. How would you feel about coming back in this capacity?'" Ackles said. "Supernatural has been so good for so many people for so long, there’s not a person I could think of that’s like, “No, screw Supernatural!”

Photography on the pilot episode is currently underway in New Orleans in order to take advantage of the architecture "that looks like towns from the [past]," Ackles continued. "And you have the NOLA vibe. It’s written into the pilot script that they go there on a case and go to Lafayette Cemetery, so we’re actually going to be [filming at] real crypts. The past two days we’ve shot at an old Civil War fort that looks like someone spent a ton of money building it, but it is very real."

The fact that The CW has agreed to shoot one of its shows in the United States is highly unusual, given that most — if not all — of the network's projects are filmed up in Vancouver due to Canada's generous tax credits for Hollywood productions. Nevertheless, The Winchesters hopes to establish a different look and color palette when compared to the aesthetic of the Great White North. "We needed [it to be] different from the blue-gray of [Supernatural] — it’s going to have an amber feel," Ackles finished. "We’re using vintage anamorphic lenses, so it’s more cinematic and a different texture than we’re used to seeing on the mothership."

Ackles will next appear as Captain America analog, Soldier Boy, in Season 3 of The Boys, which arrives on Prime Video Friday, June 3. The hit Amazon title is showrun and executive produced by Supernatural creator, Eric Kripke.

Looking for more ghostly thrills in the meantime? Check out SYFY's SurrealEstate and Chucky, both of which are set to return for second seasons. Chucky's first season is streaming now on Peacock, while Season 1 of SurrealEstate is available on the SYFY app.