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Buffy The Vampire SlayerSupernatural producer loves Buffy and wants James Marsters to guest
Thursday 25 January 2007, by Webmaster
As Sam and Dean Winchester continue their trip down the highway to hell on the CW’s hit show SUPERNATURAL, there are two men who know better than anyone what sort of critter lies in wait for the boys just around the corner.
Those men are series creator Eric Kripke and Executive Producer Robert Singer and they love to scare and educate their audiences and put them face-to-face with urban legends, the more obscure the better.
iF MAGAZINE traveled the dark paths of these men’s minds to bring you the scoop on Sam’s dark side, the return of dad Winchester, where the series is going, and the big announcement of a prequel comic book series.
iF MAGAZINE: Will we be seeing the return of Dad Winchester this season in some form or other?
ERIC KRIPKE: On SUPERNATURAL there’s room for anything. Spirits can come back; demons can come back, so yeah we’d like to bring dad back in some capacity. Jeffrey Morgan is a very busy boy so trying to find a schedule that works for all of us is a consideration as well. But yes, we’re talking about finding a way to bring him back
ROBERT SINGER: [Laughs] What he said. We’ve got some plans in the works.
iF: How evil is Sam going to be before its all over?
KRIPKE: I’ll say this, there’s certainly a reason all of these kids have been chosen, and there is something evil within all of them. We don’t choose these children pel-mel there’s a reason why these children are special; which we reveal at the end of this season it’s in the finale. That’s all we can say.
SINGER: There’s a fine line between good and evil and we’re walking it.
iF: Do you have season three on the boards already?
SINGER: Yup. We know what season three is going to be conceptually. We have sign posts along the way and we know where we want to get to during the course of the season.
KRIPKE: We’ve been talking about seasons one and two about this war of demons against humanity that keeps threatening to begin; I can say this without giving too much away, that at the end of season two that war begins. Season three is in many ways about them fighting this war. The value of that mythology is we don’t have to get so wrapped up in bicentennial levels of complexity and mythology; it can just be a war has begun. War can take many different, painful for the guys and fun for the audience, forms. We still plan on keeping the same level in season three between self-enclosed and mythology episodes, we just plan on ramping up the stakes, because this war keeps getting bigger and bigger and more and more dangerous. That’s been fun for us because every season things keep getting more and more dangerous and worse and worse but we can still convey it to the audience that doesn’t become too bewildering or complicated.
SINGER: Eric has always been saying since day one that he doesn’t want to tease the audience with the mythology. When we do a mythology episode, questions would be answered and it would have an end to it and not just cliffhang, cliffhang, cliffhang. What we’ve done this year is answer a huge question at the end about the mythology, but it opens up a much wider world and a bigger mythology and I know it’s going to be satisfying for the audience.
iF: In season one in the “Wendigo” episode you didn’t show the creature because you weren’t as happy with it...was “Crossroad Blues” and the hellhounds an example of that this season?
KRIPKE: It’s actually an example of what we learned. There’s a difference between season one and season two for us. In season one we said,” we’ve got this Wendigo, let’s see it, let’s design a monster!” In season two we said, “we got hellhounds and we’re never going to see them. They’re invisible hellhounds!” We were smarter from the jump how to convey these creatures and to not try to mount creatures that we knew were beyond the constraints of our limited time and budget. One of the reasons we feel the show is more successful this year is we’re smarter about that. For my money “Crossroad Blues” is one of my favorite episodes this year. It’s just as scary if not scarier with out seeing the hellhounds.
iF: Admittedly that episode with the facial distortions was the one that freaked me out the most this season so far.
KRIPKE: Oh well good!
SINGER: The question came up to today as far as what scares us, and I think I speak for Eric here too, when we saw the first test of the facial thing we both went “whoa!” [Laughs]
iF: You guys made the transition from the WB to the CW, did it give you any more freedom on the new network as to what you can show?
SINGER: We’re moving to CBS next year. [Laughs]
KRIPKE: I think in some ways we have freer reign on the CW, but that’s in terms of storyline. In terms of visuals and the gore and violence that we show, there’s been a pretty close similarity between what the WB and CW would allow which is a lot.
SINGER: When you’re directing one, you have try to push the envelope and they’ve been pretty good and reasonable, so as a network experience we’re happy in terms of what they let us do in storytelling and in being graphic.
iF: Any critters that you guys haven’t done yet that are coming on?
KRIPKE: A couple big ones coming up, we have an episode where the boys realize they may or may not be hunting an angel and we feel that introduces interesting issues of whether or not there is a God and should they be hunting an angel. There’s an episode coming up where we introduce werewolves into our mythology and Emmanuelle Vaugier plays a werewolf and a pretty hot one. That episode is called “Heart” and Sam has some hot naked sex with her before he finds out she’s a werewolf. Then we have an episode where the boys investigate a haunted movie set, which has been a lot of fun for us because they go to the set of a cheesy horror movie directed my McG. He’s either going to be in it or an actor that plays him, we’re still working it out. We play with all of the haunted movie set mythology like the POLTERGEIST set, the THREE MEN AND A BABY set; it’s called “Hollywood Babylon”.
iF: Do you ever feel like you’ll run out of urban legends?
KRIPKE: No, not really. I can go online right now and find about 300 of them. If we run 27
BONNANZA years, then maybe, but in a five or six year run, there’s such a rich catalogue of urban legends and American Folklore that we won’t run out. From the beginning I’ve been looking forward to getting past the greatest hits. It’s my own geeky obsession and I know the uber obscure legends across the country that are so much more interesting and scarier than the great hits of “bloody Mary” and “hook man”.
SINGER: We actually like the more obscure ones. We have all of these books like “Weird America” and “Weird New Jersey” books that I never even knew existed. Our office looks like Agent Mulder’s office. You spend tweny minutes going through these things and all of a sudden you find something that works in the story that you’re working on and it’s new to the audience. We feel duty bound to do vampires and finally getting around to werewolves and I think that’s to satisfy people’s expectations. I think it helps with the characters when they know more than the audience does, then we sort of educate the audience. Even when we do vampires, they’re different and our werewolf is different.
iF: This might be a stupid question, but did Sam wear a cast this season as the character or because of something Jared Padalecki did to himself?
SINGER: He had a real injury. He broke his wrist over hiatus and didn’t take care of it as well as he might and then on the vampire episode when they attack him in the motel room and the guy hits him over the head and he falls, he fell on it and that was that. Two days later he was in a cast.
iF: Any other shows that you guys are fans of, that you would like actors to guest spot from?
SINGER: I thought BUFFY had a great cast, and we used Amber Benson. I’d like to get Spike [James Marsters] on our show. I never thought I would particularly like BUFFY, but my wife got me hooked on it, and I was hooked on him. Plus, that series was so well written. It was so smart.
iF: How far through a season do you guys start road mapping out the next one?
SINGER: It’s a little fluid, like this year in the middle of the season, we’ve changed direction on the finale from what that was going to be. Once we decided that, it opened up a whole new world as to what season three was going to be. I fully suspect that during season three we’ll do a course correction as well, because we’re always open to saying that things are not chipped into granite.
iF: Any SUPERNATURAL merchandising that we’ll be seeing?
KRIPKE: There’s a SUPERNATURAL comic book being published by DC and Wildstorm written by Peter Johnson, who is one of our co-executive producers. It’s not about the boys; we’ve worked very hard to make it not another craven piece of marketing, but something that fleshes out the universe of the show. Bob [Singer] and I are intimately involved so it feels like, for us, the un-produced episodes of the show. It’s the John Winchester story and it’s called SUPERNATURAL ORIGINS. It starts when mom is burnt on the ceiling, but instead of flashing forward twenty-two years, it stays with John Winchester and it details how he became a demon hunter and how he met characters like Missouri, and Ellen, and Bobby for the first time. It’s the story about a demon hunter with two children and how does he find the demon that killed his wife? So, it’s not about the boys at all, it just fills in the blanks in the boys’ childhood. We’re starting with a six-issue series, and if it sells well then the sky’s the limit. We have twenty-two years worth of stories to tell.
iF: This is pretty unique to find a comic that closely tied to a TV show, especially being written by the show’s writers.
SINGER: He’s involved in everything.
KRIPKE: For me a lot of the inspiration for the show came from comic books. I’m a huge fan of SANDMAN; I’m a huge fan of HELLBLAZER. The inspirations from those comics are all over the series. Anyone looking closely would say that character is inspired by the character of Death in SANDMAN or that character is inspired by John Constantine. When the opportunity came to do a comic, I didn’t want it to be crap I wanted it to be good, and this is coming full circle from where the inspiration started. We’ve been very; very involved to make sure that it is something that we can be as proud of as we are of the show.
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