Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Jensen Ackles Assures Fans They Won't Be Rewriting Supernatural History On The Winchesters

Fans have had one major concern ever since they got wind of "The Winchesters" series: How can this show exist without rewriting "Supernatural" canon? One of the most significant components of "Supernatural" lore stems from the fact that Dean and Sam Winchester's dad John didn't know about ghosts, ghouls, and demons before the demon Azazel killed his wife. So, how can "The Winchesters" chronicle the lives of the young couple's hunting expeditions long before Dean and Sam were ever a blip on the radar? 

Well, it wouldn't be the first time angels and demons meddled with memory or time. And some fans might be forgetting that we've already met alternate universe versions of the Winchesters. Hell, the series may not even take place in the same universe as the original show. Of course, with a concept so integral to the plot, the series creatives aren't giving much away on that front, but they are adamant that "The Winchesters" will honor the original show's canon.

Looper was invited to a presser for "The Winchesters," where we asked Dean Winchester actor Jensen Ackles the marks he most wanted to hit and avoid when it came to executive producing "The Winchesters." 

The Winchesters won't rewrite history

Setting out to write a prequel for a show as beloved as "Supernatural" was no easy task. Yet Ackles loves the series and his character as much, if not more, than even the biggest fans. He played Dean Winchester for 15 years, after all. The actor-turned-EP has no interest in throwing away the 15 years of storytelling that "Supernatural" creator Eric Kripke, the writers, and the cast alike worked so hard to produce. 

When we asked Ackles if there was anything he wanted to avoid doing on "The Winchesters," he simply said, "Rewriting history." While John is oblivious to Mary's hunting roots until she dies, Season 5 has already retconned that assertion once. Fans witness John finding out about angels and demons when the Winchester brothers go back in time, only to have his memories wiped. Heaven (and Hell) have tampered with John and Mary right from the very beginning of their relationship, so it's not exactly beyond reason that it may have gone even further than the brothers uncovered during their lifetimes. 

"I think that was a big important thing that's obviously something that's been a topic of discussions with fans and critics of how we're going to navigate what has already been established. Robbie [Thompson] and I use the 'Back to the Future' reference quite a bit," Ackles added. "We don't want the picture of Dean and Sam to start being erased. This is not what we're set out to do. This is something that we're trying to preserve everything that we possibly can on the mothership."

The Winchesters has heart

Jensen Ackles is confident the creative team hammered out a pretty good storyline to prevent retconning, adding, "I think Robbie and his crack team of writers have come up with a way of doing that in a way that is servicing this show just as much as it serviced or will be servicing 'Supernatural.'"

So, we know what Ackles didn't want to do with "The Winchesters," but what were some of the core aspects he did want to hit on while developing the series? We asked him just that during the presser. Ackles said, "Well, certainly trying to recapture that heart that I feel 'Supernatural' really had. You know, at the end of the day, the show was about the relationship between these two brothers."

The reason fans tuned into "Supernatural" week after week wasn't because of the special effects, the gore, or the scary stories — it was the intense bonds of family that would prompt a brother to sell his soul for the other. That onscreen depiction of both blood and found family inspired fans to create their own found family within the fandom. So, what better way to honor that love than by showing fans how it all began? 

Ackles explained, "You could paint as many ghosts and demons and vampires and ghouls as you wanted on that canvas, but at the end of the day, it really came back to the relationship that these two guys had and how they fought not only for the greater good, but they fought for each other."

A love story for the ages

Jensen Ackles and the writers wanted to recreate that magic with two core characters and their love for each other — this time romantic — at the forefront of the story. "And I felt like if we could tell that with John and Mary but also have this love story be kind of the kicker, I just felt like that was really important," Ackles added. "That's something that Robbie [Thompson], Danneel [Ackles], and I had talked about at length was making sure that this truly had the heart that a show needed that you can dress it up with all the frills and thrills, but it's gotta have that relationship, and it's gotta have those cast of characters that you really want to keep coming back week to week to watch."

Ackles himself can't look away from his own show, either. "And I feel like we have that, and we're doing that, and the people before you now are ... I keep coming back and wanting to watch them," he noted. "I keep reading intently the next story arena and wanting to know what's gonna happen. What's gonna happen with Carlos? I don't know. Every week he surprises me. They surprise me. It's just insanity. I love it." If fans give it a chance, they just might love it, too. 

"The Winchesters" series premiere airs October 11 on The CW.