Jensen Ackles Has Tapped A Former Smallville Co-Star For A Key Role On The Winchesters

Tom Welling on Batwoman
(Image credit: The CW)

It’s almost time for Supernatural fans to revisit the beloved fictional universe, as the spinoff prequel series, The Winchesters, premieres this coming week. Many are no doubt anxious to see what series co-creator and EP Jensen Ackles has up his sleeve for this origin story. Of course, we know by now that the show revolves around young John Winchester and Mary Campbell, the parents of the franchise’s OG protagonists, Sam and Dean Winchester. However, more details on the show are still being revealed ahead of its debut. With that, in an exciting turn of events, Ackles is reuniting with fellow Smallville alum Tom Welling for the show, and he’s going to play a key role. 

News of his casting in The Winchesters was confirmed during New York Comic Con this weekend, per TVLine. And while that’s exciting on its own, fans will be pleased to know that Welling is playing Samuel Campbell, the father of Mary and the maternal grandfather of Sam and Dean. On Supernatural, the role was originated by Mitch Pileggi, who appeared in a total of eight episodes. Samuel will be a recurring character on the spinoff series as well and is reportedly set to make his debut during the seventh episode.

Of course, makes this news even more exciting is that Tom Welling will be able to team up with his old buddy, Jensen Ackles, who narrates the show as Dean Winchester. Most probably know that Welling famously played the role of Clark Kent on the beloved WB/CW superhero drama Smallville for 10 years. Ackles was a series regular on the show during the fourth season and played the role of Jason Teague, the boyfriend of Lana Lang. I’m not sure I could’ve predicted that the two former co-stars would reunite in this manner, but it’s definitely a welcome surprise.

On Supernatural, Samuel Campbell was introduced as a seasoned hunter, who had a complicated relationship with his grandsons. Over the course of the show, Samuel was killed and eventually resurrected – only to ultimately be killed by Sam one final time. The Winchesters will still portray Campbell as a “gruff and pragmatic” veteran hunter, according to a character description shared with TVLine. It’s also said that as he teams up with his daughter, Mary, to save the world from dark forces, he’ll have to somehow repair his relationship with her.

It makes sense that Samuel would show up on the new show. Jensen Ackles, who’s been heavily invested in the spinoff, has long teased that OG characters could show up. With this new production, Ackles is looking to mix canon with new mythology, which can be tricky. Hopefully, he and his colleagues will be able to successfully marry the two in order to create something that’s true to the franchise but also feels fresh.

I’m sure Tom Welling will knock his latest gig out of the park and, if not, Jensen Ackles can always give him a “pep talk” like he did with the show’s lead actors. But if anything, I expect the two former Smallville stars to get along just fine.

The Winchesters premieres on Tuesday, October 11 at 8 p.m. ET as part of the 2022 TV schedule. You can also stream all 15 seasons of Supernatural and all 10 seasons of Smallville using a Hulu subscription.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.