It was announced today at the Winchesters panel at New York Comic Con that Smallville star Tom Welling would be joining the cast of the Supernatural prequel as Mary’s (Meg Donnelly) father Samuel Campbell. The actor surprised fans in attendance by coming out to celebrate the announcement in person.
Set in 1972, Welling is stepping into a role Supernatural fans may recall from the original series. The Smallville actor is confirmed to be portraying Samuel Campbell, the maternal grandfather of Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), and the patriarch of their mother Mary’s family. Samuel is the grandfather Padalecki‘s character is named after, and was the one who taught Mary, a young Hunter, everything she knows. The role will be a recurring one for Welling, and is described as “gruff and pragmatic, he’s a veteran Hunter who prefers actions over words—and it’s always his way or the highway.” Sound familiar? Seems like Dean may have gleaned a few characteristics from his gramps.
In the series, Mary’s father will make his debut appearance in episode 7, and will team up with his daughter and her friends to – surprise – save the world from demons and other various supernatural entities bent on destroying life as we humans know it. This time around the stakes are much higher, and Samuel Campbell will not only have to face down and defeat the most dangerous foe he’s ever come up against, but he’ll have to mend the broken relationship with his daughter.
Executive producer and showrunner Robbie Thompson discussed how they chose Welling for the part, saying:
“When we were discussing casting the iconic character of Samuel Campbell, everyone felt it had to be someone who could step into the role and provide instant gravitas and history. Jensen and Danneel brought up the idea of Tom Welling and the second his name was mentioned we all knew he was the perfect person for the part. Tom is a fantastic actor and wonderful human, and we are so excited to be welcoming him to THE WINCHESTERS and the Supernatural Family.”
No stranger to heroic roles within vast universes, Welling is best known for portraying a young Clark Kent in the hit television series Smallville. Appearing in all 217 episodes (and directing seven of those), Welling is the longest-running live-action star to portray Superman in history. In addition to that legacy, Welling‘s other notable credits include roles in Batwoman, Judging Amy, Lucifer and Undeclared. He also served as an executive producer for another CW series, Hellcats, with Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale. On top of The Winchesters, Welling‘s next project, Professionals, will air the same day.
The Winchesters is a return to the Supernatural saga, decades before Sam and Dean were duking it out with divinities. Narrated by Ackles, Dean tells the epic story of how his parents, Hunters Mary and John (Drake Rodger) first met in the ’70s. The prequel follows the two as they struggle to save both their love and the entire world. The series is written by executive producer and showrunner Thompson, with Ackles and his wife Daneel Ackles also serving as executive producers under their Chaos Machine Productions company.
The Winchesters‘ 13-episode first season premieres on The CW on Tuesday, October 11, at 8 p.m. ET. All episodes will be available to stream for free on The CW‘s website following their premiere.