Inside secrets of Supernatural's new "noir" season

Supernatural returns tomorrow night for its most "noir" season. Will Bobby get his soul back? Will Sam be the older brother now? We asked the producers, plus actors Jim Beaver and Misha Collins, and here's what they told us. Spoilers...

We were lucky enough to catch up with co-stars Jim Beaver and Misha Collins, plus producers Eric Kripke and Sera Gamble, at San Diego Comic Con, and they gave us some hints about what to expect from the show's sixth season. Because of the chaos of SDCC and the limited time available, a couple of these interviews are exclusive one-on-ones, but the interviews with Kripke and Beaver were shared with our hero, Maureen Ryan with AOL TV.

Misha Collins (Castiel):

I think there was something of a hard reset on [Castiel]'s emotionality at the very end of the season when he was restored. I think that he is coming back, on an emotional level, more like the Cas that we first met at the beginning of season four. But he's also coming back with a lot more wisdom. His exposure to humanity, and its workings has changed him. He's not as naive as he was. But yeah, he is different... it's complicated.... I think he's always secretly going to be wishing he could be at a bordello. I think it's safe to say that's always the subtext with Cas.

New showrunner Sera Gamble:

We're aware of the parallels to season one, with the fact that Sam, in certain ways, shows up to pull Dean back in. But we're very aware of that. We're conscious of that, and it only seems that way on the surface. We very quickly pull another layer of the onion back, and you see the ways in which it's not the same....

Inside secrets of Supernatural's new "noir" season

We have a whole arc for Dean, as it comes to him and his family, but I don't know that we are necessarily going to take it in the direction you would expect, when you see episode one. In terms of Sam, and the way that he deals with his time in Hell, we talked a lot about the different ways that could go. We didn't want to take it in the first direction you would expect. His reaction to Hell is not the same as his brother's.

[As for whether the show will explore other mythologies besides Judeo-Christian], monsters are not... monsters don't go to church, or temple, or anything. They come from all over the world. So we kind of... we're opportunists. We just kind of want to do the coolest monster we can do. So really, we just pick based on what's cool that week.

Jim Beaver (Bobby Singer):

[On episode four, "Weekend At Bobby's"] There's some monster-hunting... We get to see a lot of what Bobby's normal everyday life as a hunter is. There's a couple of monsters. There's a couple of really draining fight scenes, and there was one point where Jensen [Ackles, who directs the episode] was giving me a direction. And I said, "I'm feeling like I'm playing maybe a little too John Wayne here." And he said, "No, no, John Wayne's what I want." This is the episode where we see what a bad-ass Bobby is. So I said, "Okay, fine."

[Does Bobby get his soul back?] Let's just say that in episode four, there's some real confrontation between Bobby and Crowley over that very issue. And I'll leave whether there's a resolution to the future. But it absolutely gets dealt with. Because as far as Bobby's concerned, it's the elephant in the room.

I'd love Bobby's zombie wife to come back. Nobody's mentioned it. On this show, we're an equal-opportunity employer. You don't have to be alive.

Creator Eric Kripke:

You would be surprised how easy it is [to let go of running the show day-to-day]. People keep saying to me, "Oh, do you regret it? Are you waking up in the morning — I'm like, "I'm awesome." My spine is so straight. I'm sleeping well at night. When emails come in at 11 PM from Jim Michaels, the producer, saying "We're $100,000 over budget, what do we do?" I go, "Delete! It's not my problem, that's what we do." And so, I'm doing great. Still, that being said, I'm still very creatively involved. I think Sera [Gamble] and Bob [Singer] have really invigorated the show and have a really ambitious and exciting storyline.

My role is just to be creative consigliere — make sure it falls within the parameters, make sure Supernatural feels like Supernatural, make sure the character logic is there and the character history is respected, and that they're not suddenly off doing their own thing. But Sera and Bob have been there from the beginning, and Sera — if people remember — she's written a lot more episodes than I've written. I think I've written 15 and she's written 20 or more.

She understands the show inside and out. And she had a really clear vision of where it went next, which frankly, I'm not sure I had. So I think it's really for the best.

[Sam and Dean] finally reached a massive amount of growth and maturity. For me, "Swan Song"... one of the things I insisted about ending it the way I would have ended it — whether it was the series finale or not — was not just wrapping up the storyline, but really getting them to an endpoint that we'd been building towards from the beginning of the show. For me, that's kind of always been what the show has been about. I know, certain fans have complained the [episode] wasn't big enough. And my point was, "Sorry. I wish you guys had loved it." But the show had always been about these two brothers and their growth as characters, ultimately reflected in Michael and Lucifer, and how Sam and Dean can do all of the things that Michael and Lucifer couldn't. They had to accept each other as grown-ups, they had to forgive each other their faults. They had to mature. Dean had to learn to — not just accept Sam as a freak, but accept that being a freak is good and okay and smart in its own way, and he's not a little brother any more. And Sam had to grow up too and appreciate Dean. For us, that's what the show was about, and that's what saved the world, that the two of them could forgive each other.

Inside secrets of Supernatural's new "noir" season

To be honest, because we look at season six as the sequel to a movie, in season six, there's going to be a new storyline, and there's going to be a new series of problems.. in a way that I think the audience is going to love and it's going to drive them nuts at the same way. So they've reached a point where they've come together, but now there's going to be new problems, and they're going to have new issues they're going to have to work through. So their therapy isn't done yet. The show has never been the two of them getting along, patting each other on the back, and fighting monsters. In episode one, they punch each other, in episode two, they argue — that's always been in the DNA show, so that will continue.

Nothing is what it seems... it's a noir-ish season, and I think there's lots of twists and turns.