Supernatural took PaleyFest by storm last week with the world premiere of “ScoobyNatural” – this week’s crossover episode with Scooby-Doo – and a panel featuring many of the cast and creatives. We had the opportunity to delve a little deeper into “ScoobyNatural,” bringing Jack into the show, and more with several of the cast and Executive Producers, including Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester), Alexander Calvert (Jack), Danneel Ackles (Sister Jo), and EPs Robert Singer, Andrew Dabb, and Eugenie Ross-Leming.
“ScoobyNatural” was first and foremost on everyone’s minds, thanks to the episode premiering to the crowd at the Dolby Theatre that evening. (Let us just say that it was awesome.) If you’re amazed that a Supernatural / Scooby-Doo crossover even exists, you’re definitely not alone.
“Going way back to when Eric Kripke was on the show, doing animation or doing animated elements was something that would be floated and was always batted down as too complicated,” EP Andrew Dabb said. “We were very lucky in that we had a lot of lead time for this season. Warner Brothers and Warner Animation were very cool in letting us piggyback off a lot of the infrastructure that they had, and it all kind of came together in a way that I think we’re all really proud and surprised by.”
With the animation being done in one part of the world and the live action portions being shot in Vancouver, the episode “was really the globalization of art,” as EP Eugenie Ross-Leming put it. Given all of the pieces in play – and the turnaround time for the animation – “ScoobyNatural” will have been in the works for well over a year by the time it airs for the public this Thursday. “[It took] much longer than any of our episodes have ever taken. […] I don’t know what the gestation period of a whale is, but it was a long time,” Ross-Leming said.
Blending Supernatural and Scooby-Doo together proved an exciting – though slightly daunting – prospect for the cast. “It was nerve-wracking because I didn’t want to mess up a Scooby-Doo episode, right?” Jared Padalecki said. “But it was comforting that I could at least be like, It’s Sam’s fault, it wasn’t Jared’s fault.”
One character who won’t make an appearance in “ScoobyNatural,” but has become central to this season is Jack. Played by Alexander Calvert, Jack quickly found his way into the hearts of many Supernatural fans – even if they were wary of the new arrival at first.
Calvert expressed that the outpouring of love from fans has been amazing – and that he gets the initial hesitance. “To be fair, Jack looked like an evil little demon child,” he said. “So I think it’s been fun to kind of play with that dynamic.”
Bringing in a new character so central to the plot – and close to the Winchesters – has to be a daunting prospect. The EPs were clear that Jack’s high fandom approval rating mainly comes down to casting the right man for the job. “We knew that we wanted to do that character […] and you don’t know how that’s going to work, but I think casting Alex has been a godsend,” EP Robert Singer said. “He’s just a terrific kid and has done a great job, and I think the fans realize that and they’ve embraced him.”
Well, we know what tends to happen to the people we love on this particular show. But it doesn’t sound like Jack is going anywhere just yet. What can we expect from him for the rest of this season? “Being in Apocalypse World has hardened Jack a little,” Alexander teased. “But I think we have a really exciting collision course between all our characters and past characters coming together for a really crazy end of the year.”
“We have a really exciting collision course between all our characters and past characters coming together for a really crazy end of the year.” – Alexander Calvert
Jared Padalecki also offered some interesting insight on why – when Sam believed so much in Jack – he has recently lost faith in himself. “I think [Sam] fights his inner dialogue over what he’s done in the past. He beats himself up over his failures more than he rewards himself for his successes. If he saves a million people, he’ll still focus on the five that he couldn’t save. I think that’s in Jack, too,” he said. “Because Sam sees somebody else’s faults or idiosyncrasies, he’s able to objectively identify them and go Hey buddy, you’re okay. When Sam’s clear of mind and heart, he forgives himself and is like, Hey, you did your best. He wants to see Jack love himself and forgive himself.”
We hope we’ll get to see that happen before too long. Some warm, fuzzy Supernatural feelings aren’t too much to hope for, right?
Watch our full interviews with the Supernatural cast and creatives below:
“ScoobyNatural” airs this Thursday at 8/7c on The CW. Catch new episodes of Supernatural weekly at that time.
Featured Image by: Brian To for the Paley Center