Jared Padalecki is set to star in Walker, a reboot of Walker, Texas Ranger. While the Supernatural actor is soon stepping away from the portrayal of Sam Winchester, after 15 seasons, Padalecki will be keeping busy by playing an updated version of an iconic character.
Premiering in 1993, and running until 2001, Walker, Texas Ranger featured action star Chuck Norris in the title role. The show aired in over 100 countries, spawning a legacy that has included television movies, short-lived followups, and novelizations. The series, which mixed fight scenes with earnest messages, gained a following through syndication and even led to a popular recurring segment on Conan O’Brien’s late night show where he would air clips from Walker, Texas Ranger out of context. Talk of a revival has persisted around the series for the past few years, spurred on by Norris’ familiarity to audiences, and now a reboot is in the works with a very famous name attached to the project.
According to Deadline, Padalecki is set to be the star and executive producer of Walker. Described as a reimagining of the original series, Walker will see Padalecki step into the shoes of Cordell Walker. A man finding his way back to his family, Padalecki’s character is also preoccupied with investigating crime in the state’s most elite unit. A widower, and a father of two, the character returns home after being undercover for two years on a high-profile case. He soon finds that his troubles are far from over. Walker will be written by Anna Fricke, who joins Padalecki as an executive producer. Fricke has contributed to several television shows, most recently working on Valor.
The reboot is currently being shopped around, with the possibility of airing on either The CW or CBS, the latter of which was the home of Walker, Texas Ranger. CBS has had success with rebooting classic procedurals in the past, like Hawaii Five-O and MacGyver. From the description, Walker looks to be a strict reimagination as opposed to a continuation on the original.
Given how well-liked Padalecki has become, and how famously loyal the Supernatural fandom is, the reboot will surely drum up interest no matter its final form. For the immediate future, the focus remains on Supernatural’s final season. The attention received for season 15 of the CW drama has resembled the hype usually reserved for a superhero film. Returns of old Supernatural characters, statements from studio executives, and every little bit of new footage in the show's final season trailer have all added to the anticipation of saying goodbye to the demon-hunting saga. Padalecki is surely hoping for Walker to achieve a similar level of support.