Supernatural showrunner, Andrew Dabb, has given a few hints towards the identity of the mystery new character set to be portrayed by Dean Winchester actor, Jensen Ackles. Supernatural is currently very much in the endgame of its thirteenth season and, as you might expect, things aren't looking great for the Winchester brothers. Teaming up with previous villains Rowena and Ketch, the central trio of Sam, Dean and Cass have infiltrated the so-called "apocalypse world" to find both their missing Mother and their friend, Jack. Unfortunately, Jack's biological father, none other than Lucifer himself, insisted on coming along for the ride.
Earlier this season, it was reported that actor Jensen Ackles would be portraying a character other than Dean for the first time in Supernatural's history. Given the nature of the show, most of the primary cast members have had to play possessed versions of themselves at some point, whether that be Gadreel taking over Sam or the Leviathans infesting Castiel. Dean, however, has only ever been Dean, which may be good news for the character but does mean that Ackles hasn't been allowed to display his full acting range.
Naturally, the identity of Ackles' new character was kept firmly under wraps but in an interview with EW, showrunner Andrew Dabb provided a few new hints as to who this mystery figure could be. Dabb states:
“The fun about Apocalypse World and these stories we’re telling is that sometimes the actors embrace other performances that maybe aren’t what they’re used to doing. Obviously after 13 years, Jensen’s very used to playing Dean and is amazing at it. In terms of who the character is, I will say that it’s a character that will be both unexpected and kind of a long time coming.”
The two big hints to take away from Dabb's comments are firstly, the heavy suggestion that Ackles' new character will come about due to Dean being in the apocalypse world, and secondly, the claim that this character has been "a long time coming."
Putting these two snippets together, it's easy to come to the conclusion that the most likely identity of Ackles' new character is the apocalypse world's version of the archangel Michael. Supernatural has already established that Sam and Dean are the ideal vessels for Lucifer and Michael respectively and the "regular" version of Michael has previously attempted to inhabit Dean's body for his own purposes. In the end, the archangel settled for Sam and Dean's half-brother and was never seen again. If Dean was taken over by alt-Michael after his lucky escape previously, it would not only explain Dabb's "long time coming" comment but would also fit neatly into the current story, as the Winchesters are seemingly on a collision course with Apocalypse Mike ahead of the season finale.
Of course, it's also impossible to rule out some misdirection on Dabb's part. As the showrunner alludes to, Supernatural has a reputation for the unexpected and while it may seem a very strong possibility that Michael will possess Dean before the credits roll on Supernatural season 13, there's still a chance that another more unlikely candidate could emerge.
Supernatural season 13 continues with "Exodus" tonight (May 10th) on The CW.