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If there’s one thing I learned during today’s Supernatural panel at Comic-Con, aside from the fact that many girls find Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki obscenely hot, it’s that season 4 of the CW series may be its best yet. Creator Eric Kripke and writers Sera Gamble and Ben Edlund all spoke highly of the upcoming episodes, with Gamble saying that the new season has the best mythology since the first year of the show. “I think in season 4 we’re kicking the doors off,” Kripke added. In case the audience needed proof that Supernatural will come back with guns blazing, Kripke also unveiled the first five minutes of the season premiere, entitled “Lazarus Rising.” Read on for all the details.
BEWARE! SPOILERS AHEAD!
The season premiere begins with Dean waking up inside a coffin. He fights his way out of the ground and finds that he’s been buried in an unmarked grave in the middle of nowhere. After dusting himself off, he heads to an abandoned convenience store and snags all the essentials: food, water and a magazine featuring naked Asian ladies. In a moment that prompted many squeals from the crowd, he lifts his shirt up in the mirror and finds some remaining hell hound scratches. That’s when things start to get weird. He hears a piercing noise, which soon gets so loud that the windows in the store start exploding. Are there ghosts? Is he still stuck in Hell? Fans will have to wait until September to find out.
Here are some other highlights from the panel:
• According to Ackles, Dean’s death came as a huge shock to him. “I’m flipping through that last script,” he said, “and I get to that last page, and I’m like ‘Oh, that’s gotta be a typo.'” Eric Kripke worried that killing Dean might not have much of an impact since he’s killed the boys so many times already, but he went ahead and did it anyway.
• Kripke mentioned that the door is always open for Jeffrey Dean Morgan to return, though there are no current plans to bring him back. Fans will instead get to see a 20-year-old John and 18-year-old Mary in the fourth episode of the new season.
• Though the Smallville producers at the previous panel stated that they’d love their show to go on indefinitely, Kripke would still like to end things after season 5. “It’s better to go out on top,” he said. “I’m really afraid of jumping the shark.”
• One of the episodes Ben Edlund is most proud of is “Ghostfacers.” He also came up with the Ghostfacers theme song, which was then performed on stage by the guys themselves when they made a surprise appearance at the panel. Kripke originally wanted to call them The Boys in Boo, but Edlund told him that was a terrible name.
• Fans can look forward to seeing more of the Ghostfacers in a “short form spin-off series.” The details are currently being worked out, but it sounds like the guys may be getting their own webisodes.
• Every time Edlund has to pitch an episode, he comes in with an idea about a fish that grants wishes. Maybe it’ll happen someday, but Kripke keeps putting it off.
• “I wrote in a love interest to kind of screw with you guys,” Kripke admitted, referring to the new girl Sam will be involved with in the season premiere. He loves how angry the fans get anytime a potential love interest comes into the series, but he also promised that viewers will be happy with her character’s journey.
• When asked what the theme of season 4 would be, Kripke jokingly stated, “Pornography.” Jensen’s response? “I’m thrilled!”
• No matter how awesome the ’67 Chevy Impala may look, Kripke claims that it “handles like a shopping cart.”
• For the Bon Jovi sing-along in “No Rest for the Wicked,” Kripke instructed Jensen to sing off-key. He said that the actor actually has a very impressive singing voice.
• Kripke wouldn’t confirm or deny whether season 4 will explore Sam’s powers, but he did say that viewers will learn more about Mary Winchester.
• The folks behind Supernatural have been inspired by numerous Asian horror movies, including Ringu, Ju-On, The Eye and A Tale of Two Sisters.
• Kripke has tried to get cult icon Bruce Campbell on the show many times, but it’s tough now that he’s a regular on USA’s Burn Notice. However, there is one familiar face coming to the show. Mitch Pileggi, who’s best known for playing Skinner on The X-Files, will play Mary’s father in what Kripke described as “the time travel episode.”
• Both Jensen and Jared would love to do a western-themed episode, though Jared mentioned that he couldn’t see the boys in spurs and cowboy hats. “Assless chaps?” Kripke asked. “Yes, please,” Jensen responded.
• “I hope it gets darker,” Jared said when asked if season 4 will bring some new shades to the dynamic between Sam and Dean. “When Sam and Dean are separated they’ll be dealing with things they don’t want to share with each other,” Jensen added. Despite this, Kripke promised that the brotherly bonding will remain in the new season.
The hour-long session with the Supernatural folks was the final panel I attended at this year’s Comic-Con, and it was definitely a great way to wrap things up. If you couldn’t make it to San Diego, you can get your fix of the Winchesters when season 4 of the series premieres on September 18.
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