It's not very often that a genre show sustains a long, healthy life on television (R.I.P., Firefly). Science-fiction and fantasy series cater to a very specific audience (which helps explain the constant lack of Emmy love), but every once in a while, one finds its place and enjoys a nice extended run. The CW's Supernatural is one of those shows. The Winchester Bros. will enter their ninth season this fall, and even experienced a rejuvenation in Season 8, after a couple of less-than-stellar seasons following the Season 5 departure of creator Eric Kripke.

This past weekend at Comic-Con, I had the chance to sit down with stars Jared Padalecki (Sam), Jensen Ackles (Dean), and Misha Collins (Castiel), as well as executive producers Robert Singer and Jeremy Carver. Here's what they had to say about what Season 9 has in store for our favorite hunters.

First of all, the new season picks up very soon after the events of the Season 8 finale, once the angels have all fallen to earth. And as you can probably imagine, life ain't gonna be easy for the Winchesters and the newly human Cas. When asked about what will happen this season, Ackles jumped right in with a vague tease, “There is a situation that is happening that Dean is aware of and is having to keep quiet about. And it's a very substantial secret.” Uh, cryptic much?

Padalecki couldn't tell us much either, though it was obvious he was dying to. “I want so badly to talk about [it],” he said. “[Bob and Jeremy] didn’t talk about it at the panel, which means I can’t talk about it.” But whatever "it" is, it’s got to be pretty amazing, because Padalecki also told us that it’s got him more excited to shoot this new season than he's ever been in the past. Maybe it'll have something to do with unicorns.

Wait, so what did we learn? Ackles assured us that fans won’t have to wait too long to find out about this mysterious bombshell because the secret will be revealed in the season premiere... and it will cause another rift between the brothers, because that’s really what this show needs. Executive producers Robert Singer and Jeremy Carver also noted that fans will “probably never see it coming” but that it’s “worth the wait.” Sigh, if you say so.

Meanwhile, Padalecki also confirmed that Sam didn’t immediately get better simply because he stopped the trials. Which, to be honest—and I feel like I can be honest with you guys—is refreshing, because this show has too often used a magic eraser to wipe away storylines that should have had lasting effects and consequences (like all those times Sam and Dean died).

And despite this super-duper massive secret that will cause a rift between them, Ackles insisted that the Winchesters are going to be depending on each other and needing each other more than ever (if you’ll recall, they chose each other over the closing of hell in the Season 8 finale). “I think that that was probably not shocking to most people because it is what the show is about, this brother bond that they have,” he said. “It's going to be … a free-for-all on earth now with all these fallen angels.” And don't forget they’ve still got all those demons running around, too. “They've got to find a way to exist amongst all this and still fight the good fight. They're really going to need to each other more than ever.” Uh, that sounds kind of like every season to me, but what do I know? I just watch the show for Jared Padalecki's hair.


As for what’s happening with everyone’s favorite angel-turned-human, it sounds like Castiel might be shedding the trench coat for good, something Misha Collins may or may not be happy about. “When I started, I thought I was only going to do three episodes, so I went into the fitting and I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever, this is fine.’ And then I had to wear it for, you know, going on six years now. It was quite ill-fitting.” Collins admitted that they tweaked Cas's wardrobe last year so the shirt was no longer two sizes too big and the pants no longer had pleats. Apparently he really hates pleats (I feel that). And regarding the question of whether we’ll soon see him in polo shirts and jeans, Collins did assure us that Cas at least begins Season 9 in his trademark trench coat. “It’s always possible,” he said, “that Cas could change his clothes. I would love that. Now that he’s human, at least change [the] underwear.”

And speaking of being human, Collins is really excited by the prospect. “From the beginning of my tenure on Supernatural I’ve always wanted to do that with Castiel. ... We dipped into human territory in Season 5 for a moment when he started losing his powers, but we never really explored it and I was kind of disappointed.”

But Cas may not be the only one who's in for a change. You may have also noticed a stroke of humanity in Crowley at the end of last season (as well as his apparent love of HBO's Girls). Speaking to that, but also to the main theme for Season 9, Carver said, "We're always looking to find another aspect of a personality that maybe we haven't showcased. And I'm really excited about the moves we're making." He continued, "We're going to be telling stories this year that feel really fresh and a little bit different. ... We're doing B-stories and C-stories in a way that we've never really done before. We're spending a lot of time with Crowley, we're spending time with Castiel. We're really watching these two guys come to grips with their new reality. It's made for some really fun storytelling."


MEN OF (MANY) LETTERS:

– Ackles has not been promised an episode to direct this season. He passed on the premiere (his usual episode) because of the birth of his daughter. Collins will be directing Episode 17. And Padalecki's just not feeling it right now.

– On seeing old faces return: “The writers and producers pay attention to feedback; they know when things stick and when things don't stick. I think it's very intelligent of them to utilize the ones that work,” Ackles said. Returning this season are Jim Beaver’s Bobby Singer (“You’re going to see him in a way that he hasn’t been seen before,” said executive producer Robert Singer), Kim Rhodes' Sheriff Jody Mills (she's alive!), Osric Chau's Kevin Tran, and Felicia Day’s Charlie. Who wants to bet Bobby’s a fallen angel?

– Hey Benny fans! Ackles says Benny's one of his favorite characters, too: “I love the bond that he and Dean had. That was really richly layered in a way that we haven't seen for some time. I hope they bring him back.”

– As for how much of Ackles goes into making Dean: “There's a lot of trust between myself and the writers [and] the producers. That freedom allows for a lot of really spontaneous creativity. I think I know the character well enough to be able to take chances and find those funny moments when they may not be there on the page."

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oh dear lord yet another yawn fest secret to split the brothers up.............we have had 7 seasons of the brothers keeping secrets from each other and its tired and tedious, it was boring after the first time and needs to end. The only upside is at least it will be out in the open in the first episode instead of dragged to death to the mid season finale. For once it would be nice to see them not have secrets and tell lies to each other especially given the ending to season 8.
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I want to see more of the men of letters
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No video I have to read all this F*#K but I did how can I not it's Supernatural lol:-)
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Human beings or even dead human beings cannot become angels but angels can take on a human body. The angels falling seemed to be in the shape of humans already-which is good to be able to fit in on earth-but Bobby being a fallen angel would not work. Maybe he is a fallen heaven revolutionary-kicked out of heaven by Metatron for being a rebel.
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Let me guess.. Dean is coming out hahahahaha . He finally admits he is gay and asks Castiel to date him. But that wouldn't be much of a shocker for Destiel fans. (which I am not)
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Enough with the rifts already. Sick of seeing Sam and Dean torn and upset with each other. It's happened so often now it's a ::yawn::
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I really am intrigued by the secret. I'm hoping its about something they have not touched on for a few years. As to bring back favs. If I had a say, I'd skip seeing more of Charlie to see Jo, or Ellen, or Ash, or Rufus, or Meg, or Ruby 1. Anyone from the beginning of the show that deserves to be back on the show before this Charlie-come-lately. Those characters are a big part of what made Supernatural, in a way. They are a part of its fabric and they deserve to have a place in this new direction of the show.

Just sayin.
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blah blah blah another secret, another rift. Come on. I'm intrigued to see the secret, but seriously? They better not split up. Again.
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Completely agree. Over all of the same crap over and over. Heard nothing that makes me want to tune in on a regular basis this coming season.
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The show has a bombshell? That it's going to be good again for the first time since season 5?
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Can't wait to see more appearances from Crowley and Castiel! I just hope we'll still see the Winchester Bros in each episode. I think it's important that writers spend time developing every characters on the show, coz that's what it's all about. Following these characters' quests. And whatever the quests are, we'll always be happy to watch the show if we like the characters and understand their inner struggles. Just hope we'll still see the Winchesters bros in each episode.
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Maybe we will see the return of God, to close Hell, reopen Heaven and set everything right again.
Maybe Sam or Dean will possessed by him?
Maybe Benny is really God?

I hope Charlie has a bigger part this time, I love Felicia Day
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Thanks for the coverage and welcome to TV.com, Kaitlin! Anyways, I think the secret has to do with Sam's demon blood and maybe Sam has to drink it again to stay alive. After 8 seasons of secrets and lies, they better be creative about it this time.
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The one thing I want to see this season is the same thing I've been wanting for years - The return of JEFFREY DEAN MORGAN and why not throw in Jake Abel too?

I hope they tread carefully with Bobby's return because as much as I love Bobby he had pretty much the perfect ending for a character (Certainly more perfect than any hunter would have the right to expect.) So it better not be cheesy.
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Bobby had several good endings. But he is a great character so let's see what they do with Jim Beavers acting skills.
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More Jake Abel is always a good thing since I have a major celebrity crush on him... :)
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I think "the thing that Dean knows and keeps secret" is related with the vision Dean saw a few seasons ago, in which a white-suit-wearing Sam killed him (somebody from tv.com shared a similar video a few days ago, didn't they? :) )
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That was Lucifer, actually, in the Croatoan-filled future. Which they then derailed with Sam going to hell while Lucifer was in his body. Remember the whole, "Lucifer told me he'd take Sam in Detroit?" thing? That's what the white-suit thing was; that was Lucifer in Dean's "vision" of the future--a vision that was given him by Zachariah.
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bring back meg
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I loved this last episode with Meg-really wanted to see her and Castiel develop their "relationship". It would be fun now that Cass is "human"-but maybe Meg would not like him so much.
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Maybe a fallen Angel gets put into Dean's body.... ;-)
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The only possible rift I see is that the trials have made Sam into something more than human and that the Fall will have consequences on him. As the Chosen One to close the Gates of Hell, maybe he be sought after by the fallen angels to lead them and this would indeed create a rift between the brothers.
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Oooo! Good one!
I didn't really think about it like that, but I love your concept! I'm still thinking that God will come back, and straighten everything out - including Adam! It's always really bugged me that the poor kid is suffering so much; and how they never addressed why the boys didn't fight harder to get *him* out. He was just a lonely kid, then he gets eaten alive by Ghouls, brought back to life by a manipulative angel, gets taken over by an arch angel, then is sent to the cage with Luci to suffer for the rest of eternity??? That's just not right!
So if God comes back, He can put everything back the way it *should* be, including the Winchesters!
Oh, I would love that for an ending of the show!! Wouldn't it be great if the boys were allowed to live a normal life with mom and dad? It's something they mourn over - what a perfect way for God to show His gratitude for everything they've done for Him!!! (IMO, at least!) 😊
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I think that God will come back on the final season of the series.During last season, my comments on God was that He has been "kidnapped" by a more ancient pantheon, the Mesopotamian one, for instance (from the language of the tablets which seem to be cuneiform,Babylonian or even Sumerian) but they decided to go with the other alternative I presented which was Metatron.Now, I can see another possibility with the Fall of the Righteous Angels, and the theory of the Gates of Hell ( and the other so called Angel Tablet) and it is a kind of reinactment of Dante,but here an invasion and liberation of all the damned souls and through purgatory into Heaven. This could also account for Crowley's "change of heart".So, if this is the way, then Adam and other damned souls , including Lucifer might know the Grace of God.
All this of course is mere speculation.
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I predict one of the brother's kill the other :(
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I don't want more rift...it gets boring.
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A secret that causes a rift? Sigh. Carver, you are terrible at your job.
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Kaitlin, you're rocking the COM so far. You go GIRL...

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Staff
Thanks!
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You really are... It's nice to have a writer with a great sense of humor ...and your funny, not sarcastic. Thanks, great article, and keep it up!
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You're most welcome!
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300 quatloos for Castiel's trenchcoat--500 for Sam's hair--head optional...
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IS THAT A GAMESTERS OF TRISKELION REFERENCE?
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What else could it possibly be?
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"[...] fans won’t have to wait too long to find out about this mysterious bombshell because the secret will be revealed in the season premiere... and it will cause another rift between the brothers, because that’s really what this show needs."

Oh, for the sake of... That's really one thing that this show doesn't need. And didn't need for the past several seasons. Creating rifts between brothers is such a beaten tactic by now that it literally makes me roll my eyes. It doesn't even feel believeable anymore - if they were a couple they would be without equals when it comes to bickering, sulking, lying to each other, and yet still staying together.

So mysterious vague bombshells aside (we will see if it lives up to the hype), this is one announcement I'm not looking forward to.
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I think when she said that's what this show needs, it was sarcasm. At least that's how I read it.
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It could very well have been. I quoted this particular part mostly because it referenced the Cast & Crew's intentions for causing yet another bloody rift between the brothers (just listen to Jensen Ackles sort of defending it, for example) - not to have a go at Kaitlin. So consider it a more general rant.
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man i'm super hype about this season, it's nice that the show has found like a solid ground for now
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I wonder if the "bombshell" is that Dean knows that Chuck is, in fact, God.

Or, something something Sam+Dean's father.
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It could be anything. Carver is making crap up as he goes. Sure, it'll be a surprise because it doesn't fit with the current mythology as understood by those who've actually watched the show.
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I have to disagree with that. The show is based on biblical lore. They are following the basic plot of the Books of Enoch and even Genesis. It fits perfectly with the mythology.
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hopefully its Chuck or both
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I hate when shows say they have a bombshell fans will never see coming. That already severely limits the options and makes it easier to guess. So here's my guess: Jeffrey Dean Morgan is back.
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Good thoughts, safi...
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The only spinoff I could see would possibly be a new batch of Hunters. They kind of alluded to something like that. However I could also see a whole series based around Cas.
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If the spin-off is with new hunters, look at the characters that have been in this season-the hunter kids from Freaks and Geeks, the excop/witch with the familiar,Benny. A lot of potential.
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Personally I would like to see a whole spinoff of The Men of Letters. I though that was a huge waste of plot when they immediately killed off their grandfather and with him the Men of Letters. That was the most interesting plot they have had in 3 seasons.
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I would like to see a spins off with Cas and Crowley - like the odd couple but with blood sacrifices!!
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Now that sounds interesting and doable. No one would see that coming save for a grumpy old clown <:*P
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Sorry, it's a grumpy old clown if you squint just right...
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