Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins and the 'Supernatural' team preview the 'epic' final season, which will culminate with an 'organ
With the final season fast approaching, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and the Supernatural team continued their farewell tour.
The stars of The CW’s longest-running series reflected back on the show’s 15-year legacy, which officially wraps following one final 20-episode run.
“I don't think these guys look in the past very often unless it's to help moving forward. I think they will continue to move forward,” Ackles told reporters Sunday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “This is a long journey that I don't think is ever going to be over. I think we're just going to go away for a while. How long? I don't know."
"And then 15 more seasons!" Padalecki joked. Maybe?
Later, Ackles clarified what he meant when he suggested Supernatural would always be around in some way, shape or form.
"I'm not ever ready to close doors or burn bridges. I think that's foolish," Ackles said. "Am I saying there's something in the works? No. Am I saying that I'd be open having a conversation about this in the future? What's the harm in that?"
Production has begun on the final season and with the series finale looming, the cast was admittedly trying to keep their emotions in check -- for now.
"It feels different going into this season because it is the end. We've said this is the end at the end of last season. Knowing that, every day... we have a lot of lasts in front of us,” Misha Collins reflected. “It feels poignant, it feels meaningful. It's a big chunk of our lives. We're trying not to be too precious about it."
"If we allow ourselves the weight of what this season is to creep into our daily work schedule, those days are going to get really long,” Ackles said. “We all try to stick to the game plan. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel in the 15th season ... I'm hoping to stave off the emotion until episode 18, 19 and then who knows what will happen there. It's going to be big shift."
"For me, it's wonderful to continue this 327-hour movie as opposed to be very disparate,” added Padalecki. “I feel like one of the blessings have been so we know we're carrying on. We can continue advancing the story. It's been a blessing for me."
Showrunner and executive producer Andrew Dabb revealed that the final season's premiere will take place one week after the events of the season 14 finale. Because it is the series’ swan song, fans can look forward to several familiar faces to pop back up -- some expected, some unexpected.
"We're looking at this as a true ending,” Dabb said. “[Sam and Dean] are going to be facing life and death, but this time it's for real."
“The way the ending has emerged, it’s very organic. It led us to this place. It's been a really organic, correct path that has got us to where we're going,” executive producer Eugenie Ross-Leming said. “There's been a certain amount of collaboration with Sam and Dean also about where they're comfortable with where they're going.”
"You're not going to please everybody but for the majority of the fans and the people who have been with us on the journey it's going to feel right and it's going to feel good,” Ackles shared of the series finale.
At The CW Upfront red carpet in May, Ackles and Padalecki were candid about the final 20 episodes and the fact that they were not looking forward to seeing Supernatural to its end.
"We don't know [the ending] yet," Padalecki confessed to ET at the time, explaining, "I think, to a certain degree, the fandom won't be happy with any ending. Nor will we, to a certain degree. I don't think any of us want to see this show go."
"I don't think we'll ever say goodbye to these characters," Ackles added. "I mean, really, living with them for 15 years…is only the start… I think it was Stallone that said that 'to the greatest imaginary friend I've ever had' talking about Rocky Balboa and I kinda feel the same way. These guys will live with us forever."
Ackles, Padalecki and Collins revealed in an emotional video message to fans in March that they were ending Supernatural after season 15.
"We just told the crew that though we're very, very excited to be moving into our 15th season, it will be our last. Fifteen years of a show that has certainly changed my life. I know it's changed these two guys' life," Ackles said at the time, referring to Padalecki and Collins. "And we just wanted you to hear from us that though we're excited about next year, it will be the finale. The big, grand finale of a new institution."
"We've cried some tears and we'll cry some more...," Padalecki trailed off, prompting Ackles to pipe in: "But we're going to save the emotion for next season." "We're grateful, but we'll work all the emotion in next season," Padalecki promised.
At the time of the final season announcement, executive producers Singer and Dabb vowed to "give these characters that we love the send-off they deserve.”
Supernatural is the longest-running series on The CW and the longest-running sci-fi/genre TV show on broadcast television. When it wraps its 15-season run next year, it will have aired a total of 327 episodes. Last season, it celebrated its milestone 300th episode, which featured a long-awaited reunion between Papa Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the boys.
The series launched on the now-defunct WB network on Sept. 13, 2005 (it is the only WB show remaining on The CW slate), and catapulted Ackles and Padalecki to stardom.
Supernatural launches its 15th and final season Thursday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.