The end is nigh for Supernatural, but the upcoming series finale doesn't mean Jared Padalecki will be leaving The CW. The actor best known for playing Sam Winchester for a decade and a half is tackling the lead role in the Walker, Texas Ranger reboot that's on the way, and he's bringing another Supernatural alum along with him to play the perfect character. No, Jensen Ackles isn't on board to play Padalecki's on-screen brother again, but Walker has cast Padalecki's wife to play... well, his wife. But there's a catch!
Genevieve Padalecki, who Supernatural fans will remember as playing the second version of the demon Ruby as well as a very meta alternate universe version of Sam's wife, has joined the cast of Walker alongside her husband, according to Deadline. Genevieve Padalecki will play the on-screen wife of Jared Padalecki's Cordell Walker, but viewers shouldn't expect to see Cordell and Genevieve Padalecki's Emily getting a happily-ever-after. The catch here is that Emily is already dead, and Walker presumably won't pull a Supernatural and resurrect all of its dearly departed characters.
Genevieve Padalecki will heavily recur as Emily via flashbacks on Walker, and Emily was a strong and capable woman with a generous spirit before she died. Described as "grounded and authentic," Emily was dedicated to helping those who were "disenfranchised." Cordell Walker will be a widower who grows suspicious about the circumstances of Emily's death, so it's probably safe to say that Emily didn't die of cancer or any other kind of naturally-occurring illness.
Walker will film in Austin, Texas, where Jared and Genevieve Padalecki live with their three children. The casting of Jared Padalecki's real-life wife may be helpful when the new show begins filming with COVID-19 precautions in place on set. Other shows that required romantic scenes resorted to mannequins as scene partners, while The Bold and the Beautiful's Denise Richards' revealed that her husband stepped in for an on-screen love scene.
It's not clear just how much of Cordell and Emily's relationship will be portrayed on screen, but the husband and wife playing husband and wife in flashbacks could make scenes together much easier than if somebody else had been cast. Interestingly, the Walker female lead in the present scenes is another CW alum, although she did not appear on Supernatural. Lindsey Morgan, whose character on The 100 may or may not survive the final season, will play Micki, one of the first women in Texas Rangers' history and Cordell's new partner after he returns from two years undercover.
As for Jared Padalecki's Cordell, he has his own moral code as a widower and father of two who discovers that there is more to be done in reconnecting with his kids and clashing with his conservative family than he could have anticipated while he was undercover. Between Cordell's family struggles, his work with Micki, his suspicions about his wife's death, and now enough flashbacks that Genevieve Padalecki's role as Cordell's late wife is described as "heavily recurring," I'd say that Jared Padalecki isn't taking it easy with his first lead role post-Supernatural!
Production on Walker is reportedly intended to begin in mid-October. Filming on the final season of Supernatural recently wrapped (and the stars were emotional), so production on his long-running series shouldn't interfere. Jared Padalecki also isn't the only Supernatural star who already landed his next gig; Jensen Ackles will play a superhero in Season 3 of Amazon's The Boys, and the second season is already dropping clues about him.