What The Boys Showrunner Eric Kripke Learned From Supernatural

Supernatural Jensen Ackles Dean Winchester The CW
(Image credit: The CW)

Before he became the showrunner of The Boys, Eric Kripke created the long-running series Supernatural. Though he left The CW cult-favorite as its showrunner following five seasons, Kripke learned a lot from his experience with the horror series. As fans are getting closer to The Boys’ Season 2 premiere, Kripke is enlightening everyone about some of the lessons he learned with the Winchester brothers.

Eric Kripke, who previously shared that he decided to forego a James Bond idea for Dean on Supernatural that would have rocked, had at least one big takeaway from working on that show and others such as Revolution and Timeless. And it is a lesson that stems in part from Supernatural’s incredibly long run. When talking about how long The Boys might last on Amazon, Kripke told ComicBookMovie.com:

I am smart enough now to not publicly say end points for my series! That said, you know, I think five years is a nice round number on this one. I can’t say I have a beat for beat plan and, for the record, I didn’t have one on Supernatural. A comment I said once about having a cocktail napkin sketch about where I wanted it to end somehow grew into this beautiful mind wall that supposedly I kept of what was happening in every episode.

Eric Kripke does not intend to provide a concrete endpoint for The Boys, even though he thinks five seasons is a decent length for the Amazon series. That number has precedence, considering Kripke left Supernatural after Season 5. Plus, Supernatural has put in 10 seasons since he exited in the capacity of showrunner, with the show surprising fans last year by announcing it would end with Season 15.

Due to the coronavirus, Supernatural ran out of episodes earlier than expected, pushing the final season’s last installments to later this year. Thankfully, the same can't be said for Eric Kripke’s The Boys, which is set to return for Season 2 on Amazon Prime Video in September.

Eric Kripke went on to clarify his lack of a beat-for-beat plan when it came to Supernatural, as well as his latest project, saying:

I had no idea, I just knew how I wanted the confrontations to climax, and I would say I know that here too with where things should come down to with the final face-offs. Slowly but surely, even as we’re in the room with Season 3 [on The Boys], we’re building to those. But, I don’t know the details of how we get there. Like I said, I literally couldn’t have been more wrong about the length of Supernatural, so I will not make any hard or fast rules here.

Fans should appreciate that Eric Kripke doesn't yet want to put too much thought into how long The Boys could last. That is probably also good news for Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles, who recently announced that he had joined the cast of Season 3 in the role of Soldier Boy. It is a move that will keep Ackles connected to his Supernatural days as he maneuvers his career after the series’ finale, and in a way that keeps this "super" for him.

Eric Kripke has an understandable soft spot for the Supernatural cast. He previously shared that he had already offered a job to Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who has played the Winchester brothers’ father, John, in Supernatural's earliest days. Morgan loved his time so much when returning for Supernatural’s 300th episode that he had expressed a desire to return again. Hence, Eric Kripke set up quite the legacy at Supernatural, and we're hoping to see Morgan on The Boys in Season 3 as well.

There is certainly a lot that Eric Kripke has learned about navigating a show’s tenure beyond keeping one's cast members close. Of course, that has undoubtedly been a comfort as he proceeds with The Boys at a point when Supernatural is saying farewell. That show was a massive part of his career, though, and he has taken some great lessons with him, including not holding himself hostage to an end date.

Season 2 of The Boys will premiere on Friday, September 4, on Amazon Prime Video. The remaining episodes of Supernatural’s final season are set to begin airing on Thursday, October 8, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW as one of this fall’s premieres. You can watch Jensen Ackles on past seasons of Supernatural on Netflix along with lots of new 2020 content.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.