Coming to the WB: Supernatural

"It's Route 66 meets The X Files," says executive producer Robert Singer of the WB's new thriller-drama, Supernatural.

"It's Route 66 meets The X Files," says executive producer Robert Singer of the WB's new thriller-drama, Supernatural.

Created by Eric Kripke (writer-producer of Boogeyman), the show follows brothers Dean and Sam Winchester on a terrifying backwoods journey to find their missing father, John, who mysteriously disappeared pursuing the evil supernatural forces that killed their mother. Once the brothers embark on their quest, their father's clues lead them to towns chock-full of sinister paranormal figures.

"We definitely want it to feel real," says Singer. Rooted in urban legends and folklore, all the supernatural beings on the show can be easily researched or "googled"; that accessibility was one of Kripke's requirements for the show. Early in their journey, Sam and Dean encounter the mythical figures of the Lady in White, a ghostly hitchhiker who lures young men to their deaths, the infamous Bloody Mary, and the Native American phantom-beast, Wendigo.

"The stories are somewhat guest-star driven because our guys are always sort of strangers to whatever they're coming into," says Singer. "It's not like they have a home base. Their home base is a '67 Chevy Impala."

Though their journey leads them through locales such as the Colorado wilderness, Nebraska farmlands, and isolated Wisconsin lakes, Supernatural is shot in Vancouver. The majority of the roles are cast out of Canada, but Los Angeles–based casting director Robert J. Ulrich casts about one to three substantial guest-starring roles per episode. He accepts submissions from agents and managers and does not allow walk-ins. The casting trend for the show thus far has been women ages 18–30 and men mid-40s to late 50s.

"The show has two young male leads, so the chances that we'll continue casting beautiful young girls are probably very good," says Ulrich. "For the first episode that we cast, we actually found a young 15-year-old boy and Taft-Hartleyed him. It was very exciting." Ulrich, however, did not cast the two male leads.

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles play the two brothers–the only regular cast members. No stranger to horror and teen genre fare, Padalecki appeared in House of Wax alongside Paris Hilton and with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in New York Minute. In his breakthrough role, Padalecki played Dean Forester on Gilmore Girls. Ackles has WB ties, as well, playing Lana's love interest on Smallville. He also had a recurrent role on Dawson's Creek.

But not everyone associated with the project has WB ties. McG, best known for directing the popular Charlie's Angels franchise, executive produces the project with Kripke and Singer. Kripke initially pitched McG the concept for the show, and his interest attracted producer Peter Johnson and former X Files producer-director David Nutter. Supernatural debuts Sept. 13 at 9 p.m.

"It's a fantastic show," says Ulrich. "It's a wonderful pilot and really fun. I'm lucky as a casting director to have roles being written that have something to them, so that the actors can come in and have something to play. Actors are always better when they have a good scene to play."