Better get used to the idea, Chuck Norris, because it looks like there’s a new ranger in town in the form of Supernatural star Jared Padalecki, who has been announced as the star of a reboot of the Walker, Texas Ranger TV series, which is likely to find a home on The CW.
Wrapping up an incredible 15-year run (which nobody could have predicted when the show premiered), Supernatural is leaving the air while still enjoying enormous popularity from its fan base. At the same time, there remains a great deal of love for Chuck Norris’ version of Walker, Texas Ranger, which aired on CBS from 1993 to 2001 as well as a 2005 made-for-TV movie called Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire. Of this new version — which is going to be a straight reboot rather than a continuation (similar to MacGyver and Magnum, P.I.) — Deadline says, “Like the original series, created by Albert S. Ruddy & Leslie Greif, the reboot, in which Walker is getting a female partner, will explore morality, family, and rediscovering our lost common ground. At the center of the series is Cordell Walker (Padalecki), a man finding his way back to his family while investigating crime in the state’s most elite unit. Our broken widower and father of two returns home to Austin after being undercover for two years for a high profile case — only to discover that there’s even more work to be done at home. In a nod to the original series, Walker and his new partner — one of the only women in Texas Rangers’ history — are the modern day heroes our world needs, following their own moral code to fight for what’s right, regardless of the rules.”
For anyone attending San Diego Comic-Con back in July, it may be surprising that Jarad is committing to a new TV series after making it pretty clear that he was ready for a break and wasn’t rushing to find the next big series for himself. “I’ve been fortunate enough to work for 20 years, and if there’s a story that comes across my desk that I feel really passionate about, I guess I’ll have a talk with my real boss, [wife] Genevieve, and my three loudest employees, Tom, Shevon and Odette. We’ll see. It will be impossible to top Supernatural; I’ll never have this again, no doubt. But if there is a story that I’m lucky enough to audition for or take a meeting for that I really believe in, then I’ll do it.”
But, again, at that moment there didn’t seem to be much of a burning desire to look towards the future for the next gig. Noted Jared, “Honestly, if I didn’t have a mortgage, I would love to never be in front of a camera again. But that having been said, I do love telling stories. I love storytelling and I love learning. Selfishly, I love what I get to learn in the process of storytelling. It’s made me, I think, a better person, father, husband, friend, son, brother, driver … OK, so there’s still work to be done with that one. I’m trying to toe the line here. I don’t want to sound ungrateful. When I was on stage [for the Supernatural panel], I couldn’t help but tear up and think I’m the most lucky dude on the planet. Over the course of the show, I met my wife, had some healthy, beautiful kids and was able to buy a house, and this gave me my dearest friends.”
“On top of that,” he continued, “I’d like to meet my wife and kids and I don’t know if I can do that while spending nine months a year in Vancouver. Of course, they probably don’t want to meet me. It’ll be, like, ‘Wait, why are you here so much? Are you going back soon? Hey, Daddy, when you leaving?’ So we’ll see. If I get an opportunity that I believe in, then, yeah, i’d love to try and be part of it.”
Well, it seems like he’s found that something to believe in with Walker, Texas Ranger.