As unlikely as it sounds, a Walker, Texas Ranger reboot starring Supernatural's Jared Padalecki is really happening, and it's going forward at The CW. When news of a Walker reboot starring Padalecki first broke late last month, the reaction was a bit incredulous, to say the least. For one, after 15 years on Supernatural, and appearances in the Friday the 13th and House of Wax remakes, Padalecki is primarily identified with the horror genre. For two, Walker, Texas Ranger, is a show so closely associated with action legend Chuck Norris, that it's hard to imagine any other actor playing the role.
Arguably odd casting aside, it looks like Padalecki will indeed take over the role of Walker, Texas Ranger, at least once the recently premiered fifteenth and final season of Supernatural finishes. While fans wouldn't necessarily be able to tell by his accent - or at least the accent he uses when playing Sam - Padalecki is a native Texan, so that lends him some unexpected credibility as Walker right off the bat.
As reported by Deadline, Padalecki's Walker, Texas Ranger reboot has landed at The CW, keeping the actor in the network's stable. The original Walker series aired on CBS, but several networks had made offers to try and land the project. The reboot will be titled simply Walker, and will see Padalecki both star and executive produce. Clearly, starring in one of the longest-running primetime dramas ever has earned Padalecki some pull in Hollywood.
This new Walker, Texas Ranger show will star Padalecki as a widower with two children who heads back to his Austin home after years spent undercover. It's his wife's suspicious death that spurs Walker's return home, suggesting that this reboot will include a long-term mystery element, in addition to Walker presumably investigating the case of the week. Another new wrinkle is Walker receiving a female partner, a rarity for the Texas Rangers. These changes aren't necessarily surprising, as there's a lot bigger push for diversity in casting nowadays then there was when Walker originally aired, and also much more call for dramas to have serialized story progression.
Walker is designed as a total reboot, not a sequel or continuation in the same universe as the original, so one assumes Chuck Norris won't be appearing, unless it's as a new character. While Padalecki may seem like a strange choice for the lead, his Sam Winchester character has already spent over a decade taking down bad guys and protecting the innocent, Padalecki will now just be using his action hero skills against human criminals instead of vampires and demons.