Jensen Ackles has revealed how Supernatural should one day be revived – and it’s the perfect way to continue Sam and Dean Winchester‘s story. Premiering in 2005 with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki occupying the lead roles, Supernatural evolved into a cult phenomenon lasting an impressive 15 seasons before bowing out on its own terms in 2020. Given the Supernatural franchise’s enduring popularity, however, it’s no surprise to see future plans already in motion. Jensen and Danneel Ackles will produce The Winchesters, a prequel series based around Sam and Dean’s parents, John Winchester and Mary Campbell.
Though The Winchesters already earned itself a season order at The CW, the question of how (and when) Sam and Dean might one day return is only getting louder. Is there a way Supernatural’s star duo can eventually resume their preferred occupation of saving people and/or hunting things? Jensen Ackles certainly believes so. Speaking to TV Guide ahead of his appearance in The Boys season 3, Ackles mooted a potential 10-episode limited series for HBO Max, where the Winchester brothers tackle one more case in something akin to a Supernatural-ized True Detective.
It seems ridiculous that Supernatural hasn’t even been buried two years, yet a prequel is already confirmed and semi-serious discussion over a revival is taking place. Having said that, Jensen Ackles’ concept for a Supernatural limited series is so damn crazy… it just might work. For starters, Ackles’ preferred 10-episode format is ideal. If (let’s be honest, when) a Supernatural revival happens, picking right up with regular-length seasons would allow old habits to creep back in. On the other hand, a single one-off special hardly feels worth the effort. A Supernatural limited series offers enough space to properly, meaningfully dig into that universe and those characters – but with a defined endpoint in sight from the outset.
The content and tone Ackles alludes toward also sound very promising. The “True Detective meets Supernatural” vibe and HBO Max release both indicate a slightly more mature outing for Sam and Dean, and while the Winchesters should never lose their sense of humor (we still aren’t tired of “Dean loves pie” gags), Supernatural could definitely edge a little further into grittier tonal territory. Even more interesting is the plan to cover “one last case” across 10 episodes. Supernatural previously combined episodic plots with long-term storylines involving increasingly more divine beings. Ackles’ idea of Sam and Dean solving one more case brings Supernatural back to its hunting roots, but that “one more case” being an epic multi-episode affair adds freshness to a familiar formula.
Jensen Ackles’ Supernatural revival idea should also avoid the continuity problems currently faced by The Winchesters. John and Mary’s backstory looks completely out of sync with established Supernatural lore, and that may well prove its undoing. A Supernatural limited series revival shouldn’t involve anywhere near as much canon gymnastics. We know Sam carried on hunting beyond Supernatural season 15, and while Dean Winchester might be dead, plenty of ghosts have already made temporary trips back to the mortal plane. Being God’s adopted father figure can probably grease those wheels even more. The idea of Sam Winchester getting so stuck on one specific case that temporarily resurrecting his dead brother is the only solution teases a fascinating dynamic without interrupting known continuity… and sounds considerably more exciting than The Winchesters.