Though The Winchesters seemed as if it might have had a lengthy lifespan in store, given the extended run of flagship series Supernatural and the hands-on involvement of executive producer and narrator Jensen Ackles, the prequel series was part of the massive batch of cancellations that went down in May. Efforts to get the show picked up elsewhere were unsuccessful, and while it seemed like that disappointing update might be the last wave of news to come out of the horror-tinged romance, more misfortune has arrived in the form of a lawsuit.
A crew member who worked behind the scenes on The Winchesters filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, August 31, with Warner Bros, The CW Network, and EP Jensen Ackles named as the defendants. The plaintiff, first assistant camera operator Bryan DeLorenzo, claims he was struck by lightning while filming during a storm, despite alleged attempts to voice safety concerns to the director.
DeLorenzo is accusing his employers of negligence for ignoring protocol for shutting down production in relation to lightning strikes taking place in the immediate area. He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the pain, physical injuries, emotional distress and more that he suffered because of the incident.
According to the complaint (via THR), The Winchesters was in the midst of production in Louisiana when progress was put on hold due to a heavy thunderstorm. Following multiple weather-related delays, it’s alleged that director John Showalter tweaked the scene being worked on so that it could take place in the rain. DeLorenzo claims to have questioned whether or not continuing in those conditions was a good idea, and says that Showalter got the crew back up and working anyway.
“Within ten minutes” of DeLorenzo and Showalter’s discussion about it, the complaint says the plaintiff was standing near a camera when a “loud boom” was heard. DeLorenzo says he witnessed a “bright white light,” and was then struck by lightning. He passed out at that point, and was taken to an emergency room.
As the lawsuit states it, the day he was struck wasn’t the first time that weather-related safety conditions were discussed. Bryan DeLorenzo claims that he talked to Warner Bros’ safety officers and others about proper regulations to adhere to in the event of filming during hectic weather. Their response, according to the complaint, was for him to go buy himself a lightning-detecting device and weather apps.
The way such situations are meant to be handled, according to the production’s safety guidelines laid out in the lawsuit, filming must immediately be ceased in the event of lightning striking within six miles of a film or TV set. Similar to rules for live sporting events, a full 30 minutes must pass without any additional lightning strikes before production can resume.
Though The Winchesters may be finished, the Supernatural fandom remains strong and dedicated, so it may not be the last that we see from this world. Both shows can be streamed in full with a Max subscription.