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The end of an era is coming to The CW thanks to the upcoming conclusion of Supernatural. Jensen Ackles has been part of The CW's primetime lineup from the very beginning, but it will wrap up after 15 seasons and more than 300 episodes. That said, does the end of Supernatural have the be the end of Ackles on the network? Many fans have been pulling for Ackles to play Red Hood in live-action ever since he voiced Jason Todd in the 2010 animated movie Batman: Under the Red Hood.
Jensen Ackles spoke with CinemaBlend's Nick Venable at the 2019 TCA Summer Press Tour, and he said this when asked about playing Red Hood again:
There's certainly a few of those of those characters that I... I mean, obviously the universes – the DC and the Marvel universes – are very large right now in multiple capacities, on television and on screen. I think any opportunity to kind of dip into that from a live-action standpoint would be hard to pass up.
Unsurprisingly, Jensen Ackles didn't spill any details about whether or not he could don the helmet of Red Hood in live-action for the Arrow-verse, but his words are certainly promising about the possibility. Red Hood would certainly be an exciting character for pretty much anybody to bring to live-action.
Although he's appeared many times in animation (such as when Jensen Ackles voiced him), the closest the Jason Todd version of Red Hood has come to live-action adaptation is arguably Jason Todd on Titans, who's still in his violent Robin 2.0 stage. Wouldn't it be right if Ackles, who already proved he can tackle the character and has spent 14 seasons of Supernatural already fighting with fists and firearms, portrayed Red Hood on The CW?
Once upon a time, it would have felt all but impossible that Red Hood could appear in the Arrow-verse. It took years for one of the Earth-1 shows of the Arrow-verse to even mention Gotham City and Bruce Wayne, let alone Batman or any members of the Bat-family. Last year's "Elseworlds" crossover and the upcoming premiere of Batwoman mean that a whole lot of Bat-characters are finally on the table.
None of the Robins were mentioned, and the odds are pretty good that Dick Grayson would be the first to get a shoutout as the first Robin or Nightwing, if the Arrow-verse's Batman even had any Robins on Earth-1 before disappearing on his city.
But there are more Earths than Earth-1, and "Crisis on Infinite Earths" is pulling out all the stops to bring in unexpected versions of characters. In fact, there don't seem to be a whole lot of rules about who can't appear in "Crisis." If Brandon Routh can play Superman again, what can't happen?
"Crisis on Infinite Earths" is also bringing in some big alums from previous DC Comics projects. Burt Ward, a.k.a. Robin from the 1960s Batman series, will appear, but presumably not in the same outfit he wore as the Boy Wonder way back when. As mentioned, Brandon Routh is playing Superman again, likely on top of his role as Ray Palmer.
Kevin Conroy, legendary for voicing Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman: The Animated Series, The Killing Joke, and many more projects will appear in live-action as an older Bruce Wayne in "Crisis" as well.
It's this last casting that really makes the possibility of Jensen Ackles as a live-action Arrow-verse Red Hood feel real. If Kevin Conroy can do it, why not another voice actor? And if Conroy can play an older version of Batman in live-action, why can't Jensen Ackles play an older version of Red Hood?
Jensen Ackles clearly still loves the character even many years following Under the Red Hood. Just check out the surprisingly elaborate way he celebrated Halloween last year:
The series of photos courtesy of Jensen Ackles on Instagram suggests that he's still pretty dedicated to the character. After all, he didn't just pick up a random red helmet and borrow some Dean Winchester props from Supernatural. He even seems to be posing in-character. Would he even need to audition?
Only time will tell if Jensen Ackles ever plays Red Hood in live-action, in the Arrow-verse or elsewhere. He'll surely be busy with the final season of Supernatural for the foreseeable future, and he already expressed that he had "so much trouble" when he learned how the series finale would end. Still, until we have confirmation one way or the other, why not have fun imagining Jensen Ackles as Red Hood in the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover?
That Arrow/Supernatural crossover never happened, and both of those shows are ending in the 2019-2020 season. And hey, Jared Padalecki once shared he was interested in playing Nightwing! Misha Collins wouldn't even have to change his Castiel costume if he popped into "Crisis" to play the Constantine from another Earth.
Following the show's end, Supernatural fans probably can't count on seeing Jensen Ackles or Jared Padalecki appearing as the Winchesters again short of a revival season or movie, as attempts at launching a spinoff have failed, and The CW boss recently revealed why a spinoff probably won't work. Supernatural might not have gotten on the air today, according to Misha Collins, and The CW may never have lightning of this kind strike twice.
The show will end with a "version of peace" for the Winchesters, so hopefully the boys will get a fitting farewell. As for the Arrow-verse, it will be losing the show that started it all following a shortened eighth season, but it will also be gaining a show with Batwoman. Black Lightning will make its first crossover into the Arrow-verse, and The CW is reportedly interested in adding another DC show to its lineup in 2020.