As the longest running American fantasy series (and one of The CW’s most popular), Supernatural’s 12 seasons have seen many a famous guest star. Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us, The People v. O.J. Simpson), Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton), and most of the Buffy-verse cast are just some of the faces that have popped up in the horror favorite across its 11-year stretch. Even Snookie -- yes, the one from Jersey Shore -- had a stint on the show.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan had one of the longer arcs, appearing in 12 episodes from 2005-2008. He played John Winchester, father to Supernatural’s central brother duo Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), but sacrifices his life in the season 2 premiere. Now, Morgan is in the midst of a major career moment as the evil, bat-slinging Negan on The Walking Dead. That role, and his pretty definitive demise on Supernatural, would seemingly squash any hope of his return as a regular on the series, but executive producer Andrew Dabb hasn’t ruled it out, apparently.
As he told TVLine in a recent interview:
“I don’t really worry about [his role on The Walking Dead] because by the time he comes back, I’m sure [Supernatural] will have been on for 20 seasons at that point, and The Walking Dead will be long over…Jeffrey’s an amazing actor… He plays such a great bad guy. But at the same time… if you give him really good material, he can go back to being someone we know and love and someone we can empathize with…I have full faith in him as an actor, and I’m excited to see [him return as John] if it ever comes to pass.”
Because Supernatural often toes the line between the living and the dead, it wouldn’t be hard to carve a place for Morgan in the narrative. In fact, his spirit previously returned to bail out his sons in the season 2 finale, and his voice can be heard late in season 3. There’s an argument to be made that his story already featured the necessary closure, and a nine-year (or more) gap between appearances is quite a lengthy callback. But there’s still material to work with. After Morgan’s departure, the show revealed his character had fathered a third child: Adam Milligan (Jake Abel), a half-brother to Sam and Dean. He didn’t arrive until season 4, so he’s yet to interact with the Winchester patriarch onscreen.
Morgan, too, has expressed a desire to return to the series. As he told Collider in 2015:
"I absolutely would love to go back. I haven’t been on the show for 10 years, and I get asked about it in every interview and every time I leave my house...The show has been on the air for 10 years now, and I haven’t done it for 10 years. They want me back. I do this so that I can make people happy somehow. We do it for our fans, and that’s got such a great fan base that, of course, I want to go back. And I would love to have some resolution for that character and his sons."
We may be waiting quite a long time before John Winchester ever graces the Supernatural screen again, but fans will be happy to know it’s not entirely out of the question.
Supernatural continues Thursday with 'Lotus' @9pm on The CW.