The CW is going back in time to expand the world of Supernatural, handing a pilot order to the prequel spinoff The Winchesters, exec-produced by original series star Jensen Ackles, TVLine has learned. It was one of three projects The CW ordered to pilot on Thursday; for details on the other two — Gotham Knights and Walker: Independence — click here.
The Winchesters centers around Dean and Sam Winchester’s parents, John and Mary, and is described as “the epic, untold love story of how John met Mary and how they put it all on the line to not only save their love, but the entire world.” It will be told from the perspective of their eldest son, Dean, with Ackles narrating. (On Supernatural, John and Mary were portrayed as young adults by Matt Cohen and Amy Gumenick, while Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Samantha Smith played the pair as grown-ups.)
One-time Supernatural co-executive producer Robbie Thompson will pen the pilot and serve as EP alongside Jensen and his wife Danneel Ackles (via their production company Chaos Machine).
The project garnered extra media attention when it was first announced in June 2021 after Supernatural star Jared Padalecki tweeted that he was “gutted” that he was not aware of The Winchesters‘ existence prior to the announcement. The message ignited a brief but very public feud between Padalecki and Jensen Ackles that concluded with the former castmates making peace.
The Winchesters marks the third attempt to spin off Supernatural: The backdoor pilots Bloodlines and the female-centric Wayward Sisters both failed to get series orders.
“After Supernatural wrapped its 15th season, we knew it wasn’t over. Because like we say in the show, ‘nothing ever really ends, does it?’,” Jensen Ackles said in a statement last June. “When Danneel and I formed Chaos Machine Productions, we knew the first story we wanted to tell was the story of John and Mary Winchester, or rather the Supernatural origin story. I always felt like my character, Dean, would have wanted to know more about his parents’ relationship and how it came to be. So I love the thought of having him take us on this journey.”
Supernatural fans, are you excited for The Winchesters? Hit the comments with your thoughts!
Not interested if it’s not the Wayward Sisters which I thought was best backdoor spin-off I watch every episodes with thoses characters multiple times
Concur. It definitely should’ve been picked up, and this… should probably have not.
I feel like the CW wanted a show focused on the younger characters, while the fans wanted one focused on the older characters. A real sticking point, IMHO, was Katherine Newton. At the time of the show’s pilot, she was in high demand with a streaming show and a potentially ongoing role on an HBO mega hit.
I think Katherine wanted a show wherein her character would appear in around half (plus a few) of the eps initially, with a decreasing commitment over time. I think she wanted flexibility to do other projects, regardless, with almost a full season here and there, and barely being in any eps in other seasons. She’s the new Cassie Lang in the 3rd Ant Man film, so it worked out for her.
Newton had, and still has, superstar potential written all over her. The CW realized this, and wanted her prominently featured in nearly 20 eps per season. They had no interest in a show that didn’t feature heavy doses of Newton in every episode.
Now, that is not necessarily what Fans wanted. I think we fans mostly wanted a focus on the two older characters. But that isn’t the type of show that is in the CW’s wheelhouse. Eventually, I feel like the CW would have wanted to transition to a show where the adults were essentially minor characters, and eventually barely recurring characters. But that concept hinged on Newton being a huge presence. She didn’t seem to be on board with that, so the show was a no go.
Over the years Supernatural has become most everyone’s guilty pleasure and bringing back any part of the Winchester boys and or parents would fill the void I feel since the finale of the show.
Sorry l was a huge fan but nothing will match Sam an Dean.l know they were tired…and l understand.Show us reruns..l have the whole series myself.Us diehard fans no the background.Sam and Dean has moved on and no show will bring back the chemistry it had.l vote no…
It’s nice to hear a little more back story into this that I had missed… thanks!
I definitely would’ve been fine with as much Newton as we could get, even if it was only half the eps, or just checking in here or there. Execs have proven they often don’t know best haha. But yeah, maybe her other stuff wouldn’t have worked out even at that limited capacity, and I’m glad things are working out for her. Ah well, we can always wonder what might’ve been I guess
Came to say the same thing.
Wayward Sisters idea was good but poorly handled.
I’m a very big SPN Fan always have and always will be and definitely gonna be waiting for this I’ve been hoping they would make another supernatural to know what happened with Jack and Cass Runnin Heaven and having the boys come back (Sam n Dean)For One Last Ride If Crowley could come back That Would Be Awesome !!!!
I agree!!!! Plus like it have always thrown in flashbacks of Sam and Dean teaching them things and the memories of hunts that they had had together
I’m so happy to hear this, I was really bummed when the show concluded.
I even named my hotrod Baby in homage!!
Still don’t know anyone really interested in this – I’m dreading all the retconning. Of all the spin offs they could have done they definitely didn’t go for the best option. I would have loved a spin off centred on young Sam and Dean. Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing John is what made him such a compelling character.
The retconning is just a big ‘why’ for me. We already know how they met, we have maybe 5 years before Mary ‘dies’ and there was no hunting! So what’s the point? The people who are interested in the Mary-hides-hunting-from-John domestic relationship are probably going to be happier with fanfic and without the ‘hunting’ hook, it is going to have precious little overlap with SPN fans and not have cross-appeal with people outside of that. What is the story that needs to be told here – why John loves Mary so much that he does what he does? What is there to that that we haven’t already seen and seen the best version of with JDM and Sam?
Sounds to me like Jensen and Danneel know the ‘sell the same thing just with different people’ version of network pitching that is responsible for all the cookie cutter procedural franchises, but it doesn’t really fit the Supernatural brand.
Mary was a hunter. So there will be hunting on the supernatural prequel. They always thought it was their dad who was the Hunter. It’s cool that their mom was I missed the grandfather.
… Mary was raised a hunter and CHOSE TO GIVE IT UP to marry John and raise the boys. The period being focused on is a hunting-free-zone.
I am not trying to sound like mr negative but im not looking forward to this at all and i loved spn, there are interesting prequel ideas but this is not one of them. I would have preferred wayward sisters or bloodlines or a combination of both shows.
The only optimism of this show is answering things never answered in the show but could have only answered in the past. Like for example I guess finding out how john knew dean was the michael sword is of interest but you can almost put it together on time paradox of michael possessing john in the past let him know that knowledge.
Imo there is no character in spn that is worth a prequel.
I wouldn’t mind a Crowley prequel
i respectfully disagree i think that would suck too
imo spn is not the type of franchise that can work with a prequel cause its not filled with tons of questions that can be answered only through glimpses of the past, if its just about character moments and whatnot then i guess it works.
Please use Matt Cohen as John. He’s perfect
This is a prequel, Neither JDM and Matt Cohen will be in this. Both have aged out. From the initial description of this show it’s John and Mary as teens.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan is one of my favorites. I’m excited to see him continuing in more. Always a great job.
It doesn’t say Jeffrey Dean Morgan will be in this version. They’ll probably use younger actors.
The article states Jeffrey Dean Morgan PLAYED the role as grown up in the original.It does not state who would play the role in the pilot.
Unless they are investing in some amazing VFX and make-up, I can’t see JDM playing a teen John Winchester :D
Very excited for this. These stories are being told by people who cared about the Supernatural universe and the Winchester family and it’s place in that universe. There is no one I would trust more then Jensen Ackles to be behind it because he always cared about the overall story and Robbie Thompson was always one of the shows best writers. As for anyone worried about retconning, there’s next to nothing to retcon, as outside a few major events, only a rough outline actually known about John and Mary’s life at that time. (Besides the last 4 or 5 seasons of SPN the showrunner and whole writing staff were “Canon? What canon?” so if this show can help reconcile some of that, more power to them)
Hell yeah can’t wait
I left Supernatural after 7 seasons and my memory is spotty, but I remember Mary was the hunter, and left the job when she married. John discovered the truth about demons only after her death. Are they going to retcon all the story?
Yup, and seems likely unfortunately.
Since there was an multiverse in SPN it’s too bad that this prequel won’t take place on a different earth with the story of their John and Mary being played out.
No there’s options. Normal memory loss/repression. Demonic or otherwise assistance to wipe his memory.. or maybe he doesn’t know in the show.. all possible…
If it’s good, I don’t mind that they’re pretty much going to have to ignore established Supernatural canon where John didn’t know about vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness (wait, wrong show) until after Mary’s death.
If it’s bad, I just won’t watch. Life’s too short to worry about things like this.
Isn’t that the truth!?!
Yeah, if they give us a good show I don’t care about canon. To be fair, Supernatural itself gave up on canon in later seasons :D
Couldn’t be less interested in this after the way it was handled from the start. Think it will easily crash and burn
i agree with a lot of folks here, if there was going to be a spinoff it should have been Wayward sisters. Not really interested in a show about how 2 awful parents fell in love. I mean the actor that played the young John was hot as hell, but even if he is play one of the leads it is not enough to make me want to invest time in this.
Why is it that the least interesting sounding ‘Supernatural’ spinoff to make it this far is the one that’s most likely to get a series order?
Newsflash: They’re dead. I’d rather see something moving forwards, instead of backwards…
Amen to that..
Will it be the same young John and Mary or new actors. If new who will star
Just a friendly reminder….. as noted in the piece this is the third attempt at a proposed spin-off.The fact that the CW has OK’d an actual pilot order puts it ahead of most pitched shows but even then there have been filmed pilots of shows that never made it past test screenings every year.Obviously,there is a high interest on the part of CW to duplicate the success of Supernatural–but will it really pay off?
Could be interesting if done right.
At the moment none of these pilot orders from CW are catching my attention. The prequel to Walker worries me as I can’t see the CW tackling that era in the way it should, especially in the region it’s set, feels like they saw 1883 and decided to try something similar but the CW is very ‘sanitised’ in comparison to what Parmount+ can show. Huge Supernatural fan but I’m completely confuddled about ‘The Winchesters’ as a prequel and how it’s going to work without ignoring everything we were told throughout 15 seasons of SPN.
The others I’ll need to see more.
Can’t wait! Robbie is a fabulous writer and I’m excited to see the show through Jensen’s eyes. I know they’re going to knock it out of the park!
Absolutely proud of everyone who made this happen, thrilled for them and us the spn family and don’t think this story could be in better hands!!
I’m so going to watch ,I watched supernatural for all 15 seasons ,this should be good
Awesome Sauce lol. Can’t wait. Do wish they would bring Wayward Sisters on though
For the love of God, someone please remove the edited picture, it’s genuinely disturbing. There are pictures of young John and Mary you could have used that would have been more appropriate for the context of the prequel, instead of editing out one of the main characters.
Agree! Once again, cutting Sam out of the family. Seems a bit rude when there are plenty of other photos out there.
Dean is the narrator, surely why they did that photo. The density here is jaw dropping sometimes.
I’m a supernatural head so i’m in…Would also be on board for a spinoff based on Jack & his new found position in the universe
When is the pilot of Winchesters going to start?? I am so ready to see this cause there is nothing good on tv right now.
Merely a pilot now, still to be filmed, after they sew costumes, build and paint sets…
Why can’t they do Dean II as a hunter? That was the only part of the finale’ I loved.