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CBR TV | Adam Glass on ‘Supernatural’ and Comics Future

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Supernatural executive producer Adam Glass stopped by the CBR Speakeasy to discuss the success of the long-running CW drama, its early 10th season pickup, the structure of the series and more. Plus, he also weighed in on his career writing comics, what the future holds for him in terms of creator-owned projects and detailed his early experiences growing up and his path to Hollywood.

On the early pickup for Supernatural season ten: We thought that we would get another season — we’ve been doing really well. I wasn’t there in the beginning when Eric started the show and Sarah was there and Ben Edlund and all them. I actually got to work with all of them as part of the transitional time, but they talked about how every year they thought they were going to get cancelled. Every year, they thought, “This was it.” And by the way, we’re being told that by network — “You’re on the bubble” — and now look, here we are, ten seasons later. I joke, “Why not become the Doctor Who of America?” Let’s turn around, take the boys as long as they can and eventually find two other hunters. I don’t know if anybody likes that idea outside of me, but I think it’s the kind of show that speaks to people and can keep going for quite a long time.

On the structure of the show and how it’s influenced by previous shows: I think everyone steals from someone. We’re not the first show to ever do this. X-Files did it before us and before X-Files, Star Trek did it. I think everyone takes from who came before them, those influences are there. I think what we always talk about is, “What’s the familiar idea with the fresh take?” I think we’re starting to get it. NPR did a thing on us. … I hear they’re talking about a New York Times article about our show now, so I think things are starting to happen, people are starting to recognize our show. We have the greatest fans in the world. They are the ones who truly deserve a lot of credit because they’re the ones who keep us going no matter where we move.

On his reason for stepping back from comics: I love comics, I’ve been reading comics all my life, a passion of mine is comic books, but I have a young family. I remember being warned by … Peter Johnson, [who] ran McG’s company for many years — I remember saying, “I really want to get into comics.” And he said, “You got a family? When you’re missing your kid’s ballgame on the weekends because you’re getting in a comic book, it gets hard.” And I did start coming to that crossroads where I love it, but I wanted to do my own thing on my own time and pace, which I’m doing. I have a book coming out from Oni Press that I’m doing with Mike Benson, something that him and I worked on together called Brick, that I think we’re going to announce soon that’s going to be released in the fall or next year. I’m also doing something else that I can’t talk about that we’re going to do a Kickstarter fundraiser for a six-part series book I want to do starring a very famous television actor. … I want to tell stories that I want to tell. I loved my opportunities at DC and Marvel Comics and I hope there will be some time I can do it again. … For a while, I’d like to do my own thing, tell the stories I want to tell uninterrupted.

On his path to Hollywood: Where I grew up in my neighborhood, I was the cracker in the box. I grew up in a very urban area and it wasn’t until I got older, went to college, that I actually realized that there were differences going on. It was when I went to SUNY Albany in upstate New York, I started to realize that things aren’t the way they are in the Bronx. In the Bronx, everybody was sort of at the same level. Didn’t matter if you were white, black, Puerto Rican — we were all just poor. Because you didn’t know any different, that was your life. My mom did a good job with me, she never told me I couldn’t do anything, so I never really had any boundaries on me. I also had nothing to lose, so I moved out here and people asked me, “How could you do that? How could you know nobody at 24 years old and live in your car?” … I lived in my car, and I actually got to know the parking schedule pretty well. It’s funny, I used to drive down here and used to crash down here when it wasn’t so nice in North Hollywood. I used to know where to park my car, and I had a little pillow in my car — I think for the first six to eight months that I was out here. Then, I started sleeping on people’s couches. It took me four years to break into the business. For four years, I lived hand-to-mouth.

When I first lived out here, I had a car, then I lost the car and then I had a motorcycle. Later in life, I started to do well and bought myself a Dodge Ram pickup truck, brand new. … As I like to joke with my wife, I was admired by every car hop in Los Angeles. One day I come out to start my truck, and I go to start it up and I had just filled up the gas tank and it won’t start. I look at it, and all of a sudden, I realize that somebody siphoned my gas. It was karma! I can’t tell you how much gas I siphoned in my life! They finally got me back, man! I can still taste gas in my mouth sometimes.

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Comments

  • Kelios

    Sorry, but NO. Supernatural is about Sam and Dean, not two random hunters. And quite frankly, the chemistry between Jared and Jensen, and their talent, are the main reason the show survived it’s first three seasons, and continues to do as well as it has. Without Jared and Jensen as Sam and Dean there is no Supernatural, plain and simple.

  • Denise

    No to Supernatural being recycled over and over like Dr. Who. Supernatural has been and always will be the story of Sam and Dean Winchester, played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. It’s not an anthology or an ensemble show. When Jared and Jensen decide to quit, please let Supernatural come to a dignified end that will leave us all with memories of a great show that was.

  • Michelle

    Supernatural is about Sam & Dean thanks to Jensen and Jared. It’s why I watch the show.

  • Miss Supernatural

    Let’s turn around, take the boys as long as they can and eventually find two other hunters.

    This is the kind of thing that shouldn’t be even joked about. Supernatural is about Sam and Dean played by Jared and Jensen. It’s incredible disrespectful to Eric Kripke, the original writers, Jared, Jensen AND fans to say that any other hunter would get the job done.

    I never thought someone from the show would make a statement like this, be that delusional. Very disappointed at you, Mr. Glass and I really hope you’re the only one to think this way.

  • scarletbell

    I can’t believe he said the show could continue on with 2 other hunters. No it can’t. The show is about Sam and Dean and Jared and Jensen. They are what make this show what it is. Without them, there would be no show. As a writer for Supernatural, Adam should understand this but he clearly does not and that is upsetting to say the least. If you don’t even understand the show you are writing for, it is time to move on.

  • Emile

    Sorry but the “success” of this show is that its’ on the worst network on tv! Supernatural would have been yanked before the end of the first season if it had been on one of the others. I still enjoy the show every once in a while, but come on–it barely pulls 2.5 to 3 mil in viewers a week! If it had been on NBC, ABC, FOX or even CBS it would have been LONG gone. It’s an ok show, but be real.

  • Julie

    Thanks for the interview, it’s always interesting to have some perspective from producers, writers, etc.. (That’s pretty much all I have to say but I thought the comments box could use a bit of positivity ;))

  • Eduardo

    Kripke the creator said this show is about Sam and Dean and Jensen and Jared have that unique chemistry. Fans watch for that dynamic. Sam and Dean aren’t just hunters they are brothers, their lives together are deeper than just dudebros. Although Supernatural could go on, it just wouldn’t be as good is all. Kind of like S6 and onwards compared to S1-5 really.

  • Grey

    Show is not about hunters or monsters thats was established the first year by Singer and Kripke. The show is about BROTHERS! I think Adam fails to understand this which is why he writes the bros the way he does, it kind of all makes sense now, he sees them as just two hunters.

  • Bananadrama

    Who knows if Jared or Jensen want to continue after Season 10? Perhaps they’d like to keep the show going with other hunters if they don’t renew as a sort of continuation spinoff.

    I don’t think he means the characters could be replaced, exactly. I’m not getting that from the interview. Maybe that the crew and staff would like to keep the show going even if there are other actors involved, which seems fair enough.

  • Kate Escobar

    i think what he meant by the whole “and find two more hunters” as in the torch could be passed on, but at the very end. As in, the series finale, either the brothers die and someone else comes in and goes “the Winchester’s are gone, now it’s our turn to pick up where they left off” or they….disappear and someone else comes in with the same thing.
    is it a great idea? no
    but things/ideas/plots can CHANGE. it’s not set in stone and as we all know, yes the show is carried on the backs of Jared and Jensen [along with Misha cuz no way am I leaving him out and never will].
    I honestly, don’t see them taking out Jared and Jensen and putting someone new in UNLESS it was the series finale and they decided to “hey let’s have someone else come in and continue on the boy’s legacy”.
    the fandom’s always talked about Claire, Ben and Jess becoming the 2nd generation of hunters, so why is this such a hard “idea” ? because it’s not what you want? Guess what, we don’t write this show. I mean we want to, every EP, but at the end of the day we don’t write this show. We can give inputs and ideas and KINDLY tell the writers were they messed up or how they upset fans, but we literally do not sit in their seats and write the show.

    I know this fandom is protective not only of the characters, but of the actors but AG did not sit here and say “we’re gonna bring in new actors for Sam/Dean next season” it was more or less just an idea that has probably been thrown around more than once and honestly, I think….believe they know IF THEY DID THIS, say s10 or s11 or whenever, they would lose viewers. Sam and Dean and Jared/Jensen are extremely important in this show, and I do not believe they would do something like that, until the series finale Then, it might be brought up of “do we just kill them off, send them away, or leave them alive but have them retire and someone else come in and take over?”

    remember it’s not set in stone, and it’s not what he said they’re GOING to do RIGHT NOW. take a deep breath. and have a tiny, a smidge more faith in the writers. i get they screw stuff up 24/7. you honestly think I don’t know? i do know but by god they wouldn’t pull a stunt that stupid.

  • Lucy

    Should have ended with Swan Song. It’s been 4 years of shark-jumping ever since.

  • Restless

    To be fair, many shows have successfully replaced lead characters with new ones, it’s not a new concept and it’s not an immediate kiss of death either. The example given being Doctor Who, but also X-Files, Being Human, Two and a Half Men, etc. After all, if the Supernatural spin off goes through, it will be continuing on without Sam or Dean.

  • les

    I didn’t get the backlash on it. Doctor Who been on for 50 years. Do you think SPN can go 50 years with same cast? He pretty much joke pass the torch. Drag J and J long as they can go, Maybe another 10 seasons. But we all know it wont happen. Without J and J this show would derail. In speaking off Supernatural got this spin off so we got a little test right there. Even though the spin off is the Originals newborn.

  • les

    Who knows if Jared or Jensen want to continue after Season 10?

    They made it clear they are not ready to end it just yet. I still say this show can possibly go 12 seasons if ratings hold up. But they seem commented.

  • Lisa Ravenscroft

    Wow. I’m really impressed. It takes a lot of gumption, in my humble opinion, to set out on your own, leaving behind home and all you know, and live out of your car in a new city until you start to be able to climb your way up the ladder. That’s a terrific story! Congratulations, Adam, on making it to where you have today, not only being a producer/writer for a great show, but also having a beautiful family too.

  • Bananadrama

    Yeah, I hope everyone sticks with the show and the ratings hold up!

  • Lisa Ravenscroft

    Now that I’ve listened to the interview instead of just reading about it, I love it even more.

    Mr. Glass, your love for the show, the characters, and the fans shines though and it is inspiring.

    I’d especially like to thank you for the kind words about my personal favorite part of the show- Castiel. :) Meant a lot to hear your appreciation for Misha and his character.

    I also really loved how you acknowledged the international fan-base of Supernatural. I live in the United States, but I know so many international fans of the show and I love to see them all being acknowledged as important to the show as well.

  • spnfans

    Here’s the NPR piece about Supernatural – we were honored to contribute to it!
    http://www.npr.org/2014/01/15/262092791/the-few-the-fervent-fans-of-supernatural-redefine-tv-success
    Lynn
    @FangasmSPN

  • Rebecca

    its disgusting to me how this pefectly fine show about FAMILY has been taken over by reprobates that promote not just homosexual lifestyle but homosexual INCEST! comments on every article about Spn are filled with fighting about Destiel or WIncest! Jensen HATES THAT YOU KEEP TRYING TO MAKE HIS DEAN CHARACTER GAY IN THOSE STUPID STORIES SO STOP WRITING THEM!!! He is a good fine Christian Republican and he will help us get this Country back from the crazies trying to make homosexual marriage legal AND WE WILL PUT AN END TO OBUMMER-CARE.

  • Elizabeth Orozco

    Everyone is missing the point. There is so much criticism. I love Sam and Dean but it takes more then the actors. It takes producers directors writers Noone job can do it without the others. Lighten up people They are going to not want to do the show and this show is the best ever and it is because of everyone. Dont jump to conclusions on what you think he said. He is part of what makes it so great. He is upset at what is being said and not only him most of the crew. Do you think Jared and Jensen would want this? They thank the writers and crew at their events. You talk about the crew you talk about them too. The criticism is too much and noone likes it He is not being negative to Jensen and Jared at all and they would be the first to back him

  • shawesum

    Legitimately upset with the way some SPN fans are reacting to this article. The majority of the fandom seems to herald itself as this kind, welcoming, loving “SPNfamily”, yet when Adam says something you dislike, you react with vitriol. No wonder so many people consider Supernatural fans to be outrageously hypocritical and mindlessly antagonistic to people they disagree with. It’s obvious the show would never abandon its core cast and replace it with new hunters, a la Doctor Who (Adam even said he doesn’t know if anyone else LIKES the idea).

    The spinoff series in Chicago is a way for some non-Winchester related stories to be told while still operating in the same universe, so there’s no need for Sam and Dean to leave. Adam was referring to something in the future (Say, for argument’s sake, 50 years from now? Since Doctor Who is 50 years running). Though I highly doubt the show will be around then, unless you want to see A) Sam and Dean as men in their 80s, or B) New hunters, which you clearly don’t. Even now, Jensen is almost 40, he can’t continue doing this forever so the show either has to end, or continue indefinitely with new actors. We can’t have it both ways, and it’s incredibly disrespectful to get up in arms over Adam stating his own personal opinion on what he thinks might be interesting, rather than an official statement on the future plans for Supernatural. Because it wasn’t, it was literally just his opinion about something and so many of you are taking it as the impending doom of the series. Grow up.

  • Cherchil

    I’m not surprised that this man said. He never understood the idea of ​​SPN. He thinks it’s okay Sam was not looking for Dean. He thinks it’s okay Sam told Dean that they are not brothers anymore. He wants to destroy what Kripke did, what fans love.

  • catlife

    Thanks for the intweview! : ) Always curious how the behind scene crew think of their show, and always happy to know they share the same love (or even more) as the fans .

    Also, inspiring personal life story Mr. Adam Glass! I can’t imagine life living in a car, being homeless for years and at the same time work hard to achieve your dream. Not the first time to hear a similar story but didn’t make it less amazing. ( I live in Hong Kong, a ve~ry small city if you know, life like this almost not possible to see.)

    I enjoy this interview, English is not my first language, but managed to understand the article and video, but sadly the hate comments too. To those comments I see many had feel the same as me, I can’t not express better than them, only thing I want to say to the haters is two same word from latest comment ” GROW UP “.

  • Mangacat

    Please people, let’s take some things with a grain of salt, can we? I believe Adam Glass knows very well that SPN is not set up the way Dr Who is and wouldn’t work that way, I interpret the comment as a wish for the Supernatural-experience and universe to go on, even though it has to end eventually, and I for one see that as a positive thing. Of course the story of Sam and Dean will conclude some day, but that doesn’t mean we can’t acknowledge that the creative team of the show haven’t created a richly detailed, sprawling, unique and gorgeous universe for it, that does go beyond the characters of the Winchester Brothers even if they and their story are the pillars for the show, and that we might long to preserve and perpetuate in some way. That’s not disrespectful of the show, on the contrary, and would people also bother to read on two more paragraphs to where Mr. Glass cites us with the utmost gratitude as the greatest fandom? Maybe a little more courtesy and less outraged entitlement would help towards proving him right on THAT count.

  • M

    When I listen to him I see what is wrong with Supernatural right now. He is absolutely clueless about what has made Supernatural the success it is. He also does not really acknowledge the contribution made by the two leads of the show – I mean I accept there is a great team ( or was!) but I for one would not watch the show if Jared and Jensen were not there.

  • ZeoVGM

    This has to be a joke post, right? I mean no one could possibly be that stupid. Let’s go down the list of reasons why you should feel absolutely embarrassed.

    – Homosexuals can be a family as well. You not liking homosexuals doesn’t change facts.

    – Homosexuality is not a “lifestyle” unless you consider yourself to live a straight “lifestyle.” Gay people are gay because they are gay. It really is that simple. It’s not a choice they make. It’s what they feel in their heart. The show doesn’t “promote” anything.

    – You sound insane because I don’t see anyone even talking about Destiel or Wincest in these comments. Why in the world are you bringing it up in the first place?

    – Please don’t speak for Jensen. Sure, he could hate the Destiel stuff but it doesn’t mean it has to come from a “I hate homosexuals and what they do is wrong!!” viewpoint. It could come from a “I don’t like this because that’s just now who the characters are” viewpoint, which is similar to my own. Look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQTq-9kHYxc

    It is of Jensen and Misha discussing the awkward scene in season 7 where Dean gives Cas his trenchcoat back and how they both felt awkward reading the lines that were written from them. Misha is a known supporter of gay rights and he felt the same as Jensen. Not because “RAWRRRR, GAY PEOPLE!!” but because that type of relationship doesn’t fit their characters and the lines written for them sounded like two lovers meeting each other again.

    – You imply that Jensen dislikes homosexuals and their “lifestyle.” Have you ever watched Supernatural gag reels? Have you ever seen this video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SutWPXQs3Ik Jensen makes an oral sex face and points at Misha standing behind them, jokingly implying that, “Yeah, we do that together.” Why in the world would he do stuff like that when he knows it feeds the fanbase?

    – “He is a good fine Christian Republican and he will help us get this
    Country back from the crazies trying to make homosexual marriage legal.”

    Both Jared and Misha are fairly open about being pro-gay rights and come across more liberal than not. Misha is very open about it and Jared was on Twitter celebrating that Obama beat Romney. And yet, Jared and Jensen were hanging out watching Supernatural together a few weeks back. They’re all friends in real life. Do you think Jared and Misha would enjoy being around someone who thought they were “crazies” who are ruining the country? Use your head.

    The fact that I’m even about to talk about the man’s family life is depressing but it should be said in reply to ignorance like you that not only does Jensen have a lesbian aunt who is with a partner (who may be a wife at this point). There are pictures online of them all together and smiling and having fun. Yet you think he agrees with YOU that homosexual marriage is “crazy” and “ruining the country?”

    – Then again, this all might have been for nothing as no one who actually says “OBUMMER-CARE” can be taken seriously.

  • les

    Forget about the other networks because they turned the show down. It does what it needs to do on the network it is on now. In this worst net on TV also had shows come in gone and didn’t make it past the first season. I think that speaks alot for a show that’s almost a decade old still able to maintain itself in out rate shows that just started. Not to mention this show also tied Fox in it’s hour quite a few times. So ratings on these BIG nets is not like it use to be. In for it to be a genre show which they died more often then not that is a success.

  • M

    Why don’t speak for yourself and stop putting words in Jensen’s mouth. You come across as extremely intolerant and frankly disgusting!

  • JeanneM

    Drama Queen writer + Drama Queen fans = tons of laughs!

  • Roselyn Desir

    Thank you so much for your well-thought-out post! My brother is gay and it always upsets me to see such unabashed ignorance from the Evangelicals. I adore SPN and all of its actors. I also agree with your assessment of Jared and the lovely Misha’s liberal leanings. I do feel that it’s pretty clear, though, that Jensen is a Conservative, which is of course fine and his right; however, I often wish that he would be a little less “clownish” with the gay antics. As much as I love Jensen, the humor he displays in the link you provided tends to strike me as more than a little absurdest. It could be interpreted as him saying, “Look how ridiculous and silly I’m being! Look at me, the very straight, married conservative Jenesn Ackles, acting as if I”m gay!” By doing that it could be argued that he’s saying “no, of course I am not this negative thing! How absurd!” The video strikes me as somewhat mocking and I just feel that he’s above that. But, of course, that’s just my personal opinion and certainly not everyone will feel that way. In any event, thank you again for your lovely post. :).

  • mickey

    amen, brother! ridiculous show…gets no ratings…bad bad BAD acting…yet people go on like it’s shakespeare.

  • Impala Girl

    I sure understand what you mean, miss supernatural. The X-Files replaced their cast leads and it just didn’t work. It’s amazing how committed Jared and Jensen are to the show. I could see a new show spun off with different hunters and all that. Just don’t do that to Supernatural! So rarely is any tv show as perfect as this one is.