A 'Supernatural' Spin-Off? Death By Bad Taco? Series Creator Eric Kripke Explains
Starpulse had the opportunity to interview Kripke, who talked about upcoming episodes, the Winchester name, the mystery of the Colt, and more.
What's your favorite part about making "Supernatural?"
This has been the gig of a lifetime for me. I really feel that everything in my career before this point has only served to lead me to "Supernatural." I have insane amounts of fun working on this show. Even three years in, it hasn't gotten old. I love so much about it-I love exposing a particularly obscure urban legend to our audience. For instance, it brings me no end of pleasure knowing that we told the Robert Johnson legend, complete with original Robert Johnson tunes, on the CW. The CW! Home of the Pussycat Dolls!
I also love coming up with a good, gory scare, and watching other people cringe or jump in the editing room. That makes me giggle like an idiot - I just dig getting that kind of visceral reaction from people. But I would honestly say the best part of the job is working with the circus of mad geniuses that have banded together to make the show. From the writers, to the creative crew in Vancouver, to the editors and composers: it's so gratifying to have a vision, and to have a crack team of commandos who bust their asses to execute, and improve upon, that vision. It's like watching things get conjured out of thin air. It really does feel like magic sometimes.
© 2007 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved
How do you and the writers go about finding and researching new legends? Do you have specific sources or do you just pick up ideas here and there?
We do have a pile of reference books. All great books to own if you're interested in urban legends and weird tales: "The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits" by Rosemary Guiley. Almost anything by Jan Harold Brunvand...he writes these fascinating academic studies of urban legends, and compiles stories from around the country. "The Weird U.S." series by Mark Moran and Mark Scuerman.
But lately, more than anything, we've been doing a lot of internet surfing - for instance, Wikipedia has an amazing catalogue of creatures and legends and ritual. We're there pretty much daily.
What kind of legends do you want to tackle on the show that you haven't yet?
I do have a favorite urban legend, but we'll never do it on "Supernatural." It's called "The Mexican Pet," it's about a family on vacation in Mexico who find a Chihuahua by the docks, they adopt it, smuggle it over the border, take it home, only to realize that it's actually a giant Mexican sewer rat, and it proceeds to eviscerate the family cat. It's just so funny and gross at the same time, but it would be pretty silly as an episode.
Why did you pick the name Winchester? Does it have any supernatural significance in relation to the Winchester House?
The Winchester House is, indeed, one of the reasons I chose the name, but not because of any super-secret show mythology. Basically, the name was born from a series of flukes and accidents. Originally, the boys' last name was Harrison, which was my tip of the hat to Harrison Ford. (At the time, I was focused on how Dean should have the devil-may-care swagger of Han Solo. I've sorta grown past that since then). Anyway, when writers write TV or movie scripts, the lawyers have to clear every name, to make sure a person with that name, from that part of the country, doesn't really exist, so they can't sue us. (Which is why, in TV and Movies, so many people have such friggin' ridiculous, unrealistic names).
Anyway, there was a Sam Harrison from Kansas, and so Harrison was out. I was a few days away from production and had to come up with a new name in a hurry. "Winchester" just popped in my head, in part because of the Western connotations (and I wanted "Supernatural" to have the vibe of a modern-day Western), and in part because of the Winchester Mystery House. The suits cleared the name, and the rest is history. With one addendum - Dad's original name was Jack Winchester..but, you guessed it, there was a Jack Winchester from Kansas. And so "John Winchester" was born. But I still found a way to put those rejected names to good use-my infant son's name is Jack Harrison Kripke.
© 2007 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved
Are we ever going to be satisfied with our knowledge about the Colt?
That depends. How satisfied are you now? Sorry, but we don't currently have plans to further explore the gun's backstory, or how Ruby got it working again. In my opinion, I just buy that it was a magical object, and that Ruby is a centuries-old witch who had the knowledge to kick start it back to life, without getting into overly arcane and expository details.
One thing I'll say, however..when the writers and I are procrastinating in the room, we sometimes discuss a possible "Supernatural" spin-off...a prequel that relates the adventures of Samuel Colt and the band of hunters who roamed the Old West. As I said, I consider "Supernatural" a kind of modern-day Western, so it'd be cool to go all the way with it, and make an actual horror western. And I like the idea that the "Supernatural" universe is a fleshed-out one with a history that goes back centuries. Who knows, maybe one day I'll be able to tell that story.
Are you going to go more in depth about the necklace that Sam gave Dean for Christmas when they were kids? Is that what's preventing Dean from getting possessed?
We do have some further backstory for that necklace - but I haven't decided if or when to reveal it. It would depend on the right story, I suppose. But no, it's not preventing Dean from getting possessed. But something definitely is, and you're going to learn what, in our final episode before the break, "Jus in Bello."
Any spoilers about the last few episodes of the season?
The episode that airs on February 14th, "Mystery Spot," is one of my favorites. It's very funny, but also unexpectedly dark and emotional, so it hits all our show's tonal sweet spots. In it, Sam is forced to relive the same Tuesday over and over, and at the end of each and every one, Dean dies. We had great fun killing Dean over and over. It started to get absurd after awhile. My favorite death is the one he receives from eating a bad taco.
And then, on February 21st, we air "Just in Bello," which is a slam bang, action movie of an episode. In it, we climax the Agent Henriksen storyline once and for all, and we meet the Demon that's been referenced in earlier episodes, the one that's rising in prominence to replace Yellow Eyes. And this Demon doesn't like Sam at all, considers him competition, and so the boys have their work cut out for them.
How do the writers foresee the end of the show? Have you planned that out yet?
I'm certainly not going to tell you what the endgame of the show is...but yes, it is planned out. I know what the last scene of the series is. I've known this final story, how it all ends, from the very beginning, from before we even shot the pilot. And I've never wavered from it, not once. Some smaller story threads shift a bit - a Roadhouse here, some psychic kids there - but at the end the day, those aren't what the show's truly about, at its core. But we've always been steadily on the course of the main story, the big story, and we're heading towards it in a very conscious way.
"Supernatural" airs Thursdays at 9/8 central.
Interview by Angie Rentmeester & Noelle Talmon
Starpulse.com contributing writers
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