As the January 21 premiere of The CW’s Walker, Texas Ranger reboot, Walker, draws near, star Jared Padalecki (Supernatural, Gilmore Girls) has opened up about series’ development process. In an interview with TV Insider, Padalecki shared that the reimagined role of Cordell Walker was originally developed with his Supernatural co-star Jensen Ackles (My Bloody Valentine) in mind, and that he fully intends to bring Ackles on board in the future. Ackles has already been reunited with Supernatural creator Eric Kripke for season three of Amazon’s The Boys, in which he’ll play a celebrity superhero and World War II veteran named Soldier Boy.
— Walker (@thecwwalker) December 15, 2020
“I’d often say I wanted to retire, especially from the acting portion of the business,” Padalecki told TV Insider of his final year on set of The CW’s Supernatural, which ended it’s fifteen-year run in 2020. “At first, I just really wanted to develop this story about this version of Cordell Walker,” the actor spoke to TV Insider about the seemingly fortuitous opportunity to step behind-the-camera and out of the limelight as a producer on the show.
While developing the character, Padalecki had his Supernatural on-screen brother in mind for the role, but as he became more invested in Cordell Walker, the show became a family affair of a different sort. “It kept looking like something I really wanted to be a part of,” Padalecki said of the project, via TV Insider. Soon Padalecki’s wife, Genevieve Padalecki (Wildfire), came aboard the project as well. “I don’t think I dared to dream this big,” Padalecki said of getting to work alongside his wife and nearby their family in Texas.
— Genevieve Padalecki (@GenPadalecki) December 16, 2020
The first trailers for Walker saw Padalecki’s ranger in a desperate search for answers about the haunting death of his wife, Emily. While the team at The CW is completely reimaging the 90s Chuck Norris (Walker, Texas Ranger, The Expendables 2) series, the original show’s TV-movie Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial Under Fire ended on a cliffhanger in which Walker’s wife, Alex Cahill Walker, died while caught in unexpected gunfire. It’s possible that this major moment in the life of Padalecki’s Cordell Walker draws inspiration from the events of the original series, however fans will have to tune in on January 21 to know for sure.
Padalecki joked with Variety that he’s “used to Gen dying on-camera,” since the two first met on Supernatural where her character died at the hands of Ackles’ Dead Winchester. However, joking aside, Padalecki opened up about the emotional toll of Walker’s monumental grief over the loss of Emily, via Variety.
Aside from Cordell Walker’s person trauma, Padalecki has opened up about how larger sociopolitical conversations about immigration and policing have impacted the development of the show. Bleeding Cool reports that Padalecki wants to create storylines that address and pose questions about “the harsh and racist realities that still exist” in law enforcement.
Padalecki hopes to tackle both relevant topics and impactful interpersonal stories on Walker, the actor even joked about his ambitions with Variety, saying he hopes the show will air even long than Supernatural. However, in his development of the series, Padalecki has not forgotten his Supernatural family. “Oh, [Ackles] will be on the show,” Padalecki promised TV Insider “we were hoping he would direct [an episode] and be in one. He will be in the show in some way, shape or form, even if I have to drag him kicking and screaming.” Those seeking a reunion of the Winchester boys, will have to keep an eye out for Ackles’ eventual appearance on Walker.