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'The Winchesters' boss explains how prequel explores 'new corners of the Supernatural universe'
"What's the surprise gonna be? How do we keep the monsters fresh?"
Trying to come up with a fresh concept within the universe of a television series that ran for 15 seasons on The CW isn't the easiest thing in the world. But that's exactly what showrunner and executive producer Robbie Thompson wanted to do in the pilot episode of The Winchesters — a Supernatural prequel about the early, demon-hunting adventures of John and Mary (played as young adults by Drake Rodge and Meg Donnelly, respectively).
The season premiere, which kicks off with an Indiana Jones-style prologue in which Mary's father, Sam Cambell (to be played by Smallvile and Arrowverse alum, Tom Welling), is attacked by an insectoid creature after breaking into a mausoleum. Our young heroes later raid the same tomb and find themselves squaring off with a werewolf-esque "watch dog" creature known as a loup-garou. It can be harmed by a silver blade, but decapitation is the only way to stop it for good.
"One of the things that we talked about was how can we introduce something that hadn't been seen before," Thompson remarked during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "It was kind of also just a proof of concept of what we wanted to do with the show was, 'How could we shine a light on new corners of the Supernatural universe that maybe just hadn't been brought to light on the mothership?'"
He went on to explain that "there was never a shortage of monsters or ideas" during the production of Supernatural, which ended up comprising over 300 episodes when it finally came to an end in late 2020. "Specifically for this one we wanted to start with something fresh and new, not something that Supernatural fans had seen," Thompson continued. "When you are dealing with characters that an audience has seen before, often times the trap can be: What's the surprise gonna be? How do we keep the monsters fresh?"
In addition to "some classic monsters of the week," The Winchesters will also feature an overarching "big bag" in the form of the Acreda, an otherworldly force of evil that hopes to invade the mortal realm. Up until now, they've been thwarted time and again by the Men of Letters, though their protection seems to be waning. "We'll be doing a lot of new and fun monsters, but you will see some old favorites in that regard," Thompson teased.
The Winchesters pilot is now available to stream for free on The CW website. New episodes premiere every Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Looking for more supernatural thrills and chills? Check out SYFY's original SurrealEstate. The first season is streaming now on the SYFY app, and Season 2 is coming soon.