There's almost no way that anyone who hears the name Walker won't think of Chuck Norris and his long-time stint on Walker, Texas Ranger. The '90s hit was on for eight seasons, and helped to cement Norris as a bad-guy-kicking, justice-finding superstar. While it had seemed that no one would dare touch that legacy, there's now a update on the classic story with Walker, The CW's new show starring Supernatural vet Jared Padalecki. If you're wondering how Chuck Norris felt about him taking over the Walker reigns, Padalecki has now opened up about it.
It's fair to say that many fans were shocked when it was announced that Cordell Walker would be returning to TV. That was even more true when that news came with the reveal that Chuck Norris wouldn't be involved in the new show, but that Jared Padalecki would shed his Sam Winchester vibe and take on the part once Supernatural was done. Fans have had the chance to see Padalecki in action on Walker for a couple of weeks now, and when he recently spoke with Good Morning America about his new series, Padalecki was asked if he had to get Chuck Norris' blessing before putting on that Texas Ranger badge, he said:
He did have to give his blessing. He helped create the original version, and so he still co-owns it. He didn't have any problem with it, thank goodness, because I don't want to mess with Chuck Norris. But I've seen all the GIFs and memes and stuff. So, he did have to give his blessing… It's a very, very different show, and our Walker, Texas Ranger is a very different Walker than his Walker but he did give his blessing.
Well, that is good to hear! As Jared Padalecki noted during his interview, literally no one wants to mess with Chuck Norris and risk pissing that man off. He may have turned 80 last year, but when even Death is afraid to try having a serious discussion with you, we can all be sure that no mere mortal would stand a chance. Luckily, the executive producers (of which Padalecki is one) of Walker couldn't have ignored the importance of Norris even if they tried, seeing as how he helped to create the original show and still owns rights to it.
It's also lucky that Norris approved of their idea for Walker, not just because he wasn't going to be a part of the new show, but because they made quite a lot of changes to the story for this update on the concept. Even though Padalecki is playing Cordell Walker, his version of the character is very different than Norris' was. There is a lot less of a focus on Cordell kicking ass and taking bad guy names, both because of the fact that Padalecki isn't a renowned martial artist, and the times that we live in.
We're all finally realizing that shows which depict law enforcement have to be very careful about how they show the relationship between those professionals and the suspects and / or criminals depicted, because of some intense and hard truths about our real criminal justice system. Padalecki spoke before about updating the character and the way he worked, noting that his Walker would be "less about what goes through somebody’s fists and feet, and more about what goes through somebody’s head and heart."
Walker's story has been updated in other ways, too, with there being a much stronger focus on his extended family, which includes his two children, a sibling and his parents, as well as a more diverse cast of fellow Rangers for him to interact with right from the beginning. Of course, it might be possible that one of the reasons Chuck Norris was cool with the new series is because of the changes which were made, and would let his Walker, Texas Ranger continue to stand as its own thing.
You can keep up with Walker and peep all of the changes Jared Padalecki and crew made to the original when the show airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW. But, for more to watch in the coming weeks, check out our guide to winter / spring 2021 TV!