Jared Padalecki’s first gig since the end of Supernatural — Walker — is such a definitive hit for The CW that the network just announced it’s letting him work on a prequel to the series set in the old West. Padalecki fans didn’t have to wait long after he finished up his time on Supernatural after 15 seasons in 2020. Just months later in 2021, he debuted in the reboot of Chuck Norris’ breakout TV role in Walker, Texas Ranger. The rebooted series sees Padalecki as Cordell Walker, a widower and father of two who returns to his home in Austin after being undercover on a case for two years. Now he’s back in the saddle as a Texas Ranger ready to dispense his own brand of justice.
Those who can’t get enough will be excited to learn that Deadline reported Wednesday that Jared Padalecki has signed on to executive produce a prequel series alongside Walker creator and showrunner Anna Fricke and executive producers Seamus Fahey, Dan Lin and Lindsey Liberatore. The new show, titled Walker: Independence will take a page out of the book of Yellowstone in that its spinoff will not be set anywhere near the modern-day where its flagship show takes place.
Instead, the show will be set in the late 1800s and follow Abby Walker, who is presumably a relative of Jared Padalecki’s Cordell. Abby is described as an affluent Bostonian whose husband is murdered. She takes a journey out West on a quest for answers and revenge where she crosses paths with Hoyt Rawlins. They head all the way to Independence, Texas where they discover a town rife with colorful characters who are also running from their past in one way or another. They decide to set up roots only to discover that not everything and everyone is as they seem.
It’s unclear what connective tissue Abby will have to Jared Padalecki’s Cordell Walker or his best friend, Hoyt Rawlins, played in the present day by Matt Barr. Regardless, it makes perfect sense for The CW to be chasing success and expanding the Walker universe. When the show dropped in early 2021, Entertainment Weekly reported that it was the most-watched series premiere in five years for the network. Meanwhile, fans of Supernatural are noting in the actor’s Twitter announcement that they’re excited to see Jared Padalecki’s name attached to a spinoff series for the network after some unpleasantness with his former co-star, Jensen Ackles.
On June 24, Jensen Ackles tweeted an announcement that he was working on a prequel to Supernatural that would follow their characters’ parents on their journey before the show started. At the time, Jared Padalecki took to Twitter to publicly respond that he was unhappy to learn about this on Twitter and that he was “bummed” that he wasn’t kept in the loop.
The Twitter exchange sparked a lot of debate among Supernatural fans who were sad to see the two on-screen brothers, who are absolute besties in real life as well, seemingly at odds with each other. However, in a recent interview with The New York Times, Jared Padalecki noted that he’s since talked with Jensen Ackles about the situation and they’re fine. He also tried to convince people that he wasn’t that serious and that his tone was misconstrued on social media. However, many didn’t quite buy the explanation..