SAN DIEGO – "Supernatural" has had the Winchester brothers at odds before in the course of 13 seasons, but not usually on opposite sides of a war.
When the horror-tinged CW show's 14th season premieres Oct. 11, the archangel Michael has possessed Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) and is rounding up an army to "purify" the Earth, while brother Sam (Jared Padalecki) is now the leader of monster hunters who've come over from an apocalyptic alternate reality.
During the annual "Supernatural" panel on Sunday at geek entertainment festival Comic-Con, fans got an early look at an upcoming episode featuring Michael – who's a lot creepier and haughtier than Dean – having an encounter with a Muslim man and having a discussion about what humanity says it wants vs. what it actually wants.
It was the first time Padalecki had seen it. "I kinda got chills. Way to go, Ackles."
Ackles acknowledges that it's been a challenge to "kick the dust off" and return to the show essentially playing a new role. "Dean’s sitting shotgun right now while Michael’s driving."
The actor is a big fan of the British series "Peaky Blinders," whose 1920s-era style informed Michael's duds on "Supernatural." "That kind of timeless look (is what) I was hoping to have for Michael because he is a timeless figure," he said. (Ackles is very particular whenever period garb is needed for the show, executive producer Robert Singer quipped. "His input is just ‘Do it the way I want and I’ll be happy.' ")
In addition to not having his brother around and letting his facial hair grow, Sam is also dealing with "all of these people he's never met who are under his watchful eye," Padalecki said. "Sam, without Dean for however long, has to take the cues and the lessons he learned from Dean and then pass them on to all the Apocalypse World hunters. It’s like the new Brady Bunch."
While the "Wayward Sisters" spinoff wasn't picked up for series, Sheriff Jodie Mills (Kim Rhodes) and some of the young female hunters in her charge will return in the new season, as will the witchy Rowena (Ruth Connell).
"Supernatural" is also preparing to air its 300th episode this season. No teases were given but Padalecki shared that Ackles wanted it to be called "300" and suggested that "we should be wearing togas."
"I said, 'Clip show,' " Ackles deadpanned.
The presentation ended with a fan asking what monster the Winchesters need to fight next and co-star Misha Collins had a political offering: "Donald Trump," which earned a rapturous cheer from the crowd.
Singer added, "Misha, that’s even too scary for us."
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