The reimagining sees Padalecki putting on the iconic cowboy hat in his first TV role since starring as a Winchester brother. And well he’s no Norris for sure. But then again, the reboot isn’t trying to replicate the feel of the original, which ran for eight seasons.
Before he became an immortal meme, Norris starred in the original as Sergeant Cordell Walker. Walker was a Texas Ranger that solved crimes in the Dallas–Fort Worth area with an assorted cast of characters.
Meanwhile, the reboot appears to be more of a mystery show with Padalecki’s version of Walker investigating his wife’s death. The journey and stakes feel more personal for this version of the character. In a bit of a twist, Walker’s wife is played by Padalecki’s real-life wife Genevieve.
The version of the show based on the trailer does look like what a CW version of Texas and the West would feel like. Though they differ in genres, most shows on the network have a similar aesthetic and feel. The network has been known to populate their shows with pretty faces and ample amounts of drama.
Jared Padalecki Discusses Comparisons to Chuck Norris
But Padalecki prefers both fans of the original and “Supernatural” fans not compare his performance to Chuck Norris or Sam Winchester. In fact, Padalecki views his version of the character as an entirely separate beast altogether. For instance, the original show wrote in Norris’ love of martial arts. It’s unlikely Padalecki will be breaking out any karate moves. Additionally, the new version of Walker is both a widower and a father.
He told Michael Rosenbaum on the “Inside of You” podcast that the two are separate characters with the same name.
“My Walker has zero to do with Chuck’s Walker,” Padalecki said. “I grew up in Texas and ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ was obviously a massive show. I watched it but this is a brand new character, brand new story, and brand new era. Just a similar name. Cordell’s the new Walker, Texas Ranger, nothing to do with Chuck.”
Given that he’s a Texas native, Padalecki might be able to give his performance a bit of authenticity. Meanwhile, Norris is actually from Oklahoma, though he made a very convincing Texan on the original. Padalecki also said he’s received Norris’ blessing in the role.
“I have not talked to him directly,” Padalecki said. “I guess our people have talked, whatever that means. He had to give his blessing because he still co-owned the rights to the story, the product. So he was part of the EP [executive producer] group and he had some ownership in ‘Walker, Texas Ranger.’ So we had to get his blessing to create a new version of it. I know we have his blessing but I don’t know what his involvement will or won’t be.”
The show premieres on the CW on Jan. 21, 2021.