Last night, Supernatural fans were torn. While most were excited to hear that a prequel was being planned, with Jensen Ackles returning as Dean Winchester to narrate, many were apprehensive when they learned that Ackles's long-time co-star Jared Padalecki was feeling "gutted" that he had to learn about the project on Twitter, having never been approached by Ackles, Warner Bros. Television, or The CW. Padalecki, who currently stars in and produces Walker for The CW, tweeted that he was happy for Ackles, but wished he would have been consulted at some point. Fans of the long-running show were surprised that Padalecki would air that frustration publicly, but more surprised that Ackles and the network had somehow failed to get in touch with the actor.
Today, Padalecki says that he had a conversation with his on-screen brother, and that everything is fine. He also noted that the series is "early in the process with miles to go," which may actually give some context as to what happened.
You can see his tweet below.
@JensenAckles and I had a great talk, as we do often, and things are good.— Jared Padalecki (@jarpad) June 25, 2021
The show is early in the process with miles to go.
We’ve travelled a lot of roads together, and sometimes those damn roads have bumps.
Bumps don’t stop us.
Once brothers, always brothers. #spnfamily
It's possible that someone in the press or in fandom got wind of the development, and that Ackles and The CW had to make an official announcement much earlier than originally planned, in order to avoid being scooped by an unofficial source. This happens relatively often on big projects, and it could explain why nobody had a chance to reach out to Padalecki before a press release was drafted. That's just a guess, but it makes at least some kind of sense, given how calm Padalecki seems about the whole thing after one conversation.
The crossover will reportedly center on the life and love of John and Mary Winchester, the parents of Sam and Dean, who were played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Samantha Smith in Supernatural. Other than Ackles' role as narrator, there is no casting information yet, and very little about the project itself.
"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?'" Ackles said in a statement. "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."
This marks The CW's third attempt to develop a spinoff for Supernatural, the first being Supernatural: Bloodlines and the second being Wayward Sisters. Both were developed while the series was still on the air and would have sent characters from the main series off into a show of their own. Neither moved forward. That might not seem like an ideal situation for The Winchesters, but the idea of Ackles (and Dean) being involved lends it a weight the others didn't have.