The fictional universe of Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Badkeeps expanding, and no one is complaining. There’s prequel Better Call Saul—equal to the first series in the great acting and screenwriting departments—and last November The Hollywood Reporter revealed that show creator Gilligan was working on a feature-length Breaking Bad-related movie.
Will Walter White (Bryan Cranston) come back from the dead? Cranston recently addressed that question in an interview with EW on the mag’s Entertainment Weekly radio. He also talked about the prospect of returning to the character in general.
“From a realistic standpoint, if I got called to do the movie or Better Call Saul, which I don’t know would ever happen—I really don’t—I would do it in a second,” he said.
“Because you know,” he continued, “my experience on Breaking Bad changed my life and my professional life. It gave me opportunities that would not have come.”
“I would go in a second,” Cranston concluded—but there was a particular condition that wouldn’t interest him at all: a reboot. “I wouldn’t do it because it had—to me—it was such a perfect beginning, middle and end.”
The movie’s description makes it pretty obvious that the central character isn’t Walter White.
Details on the project, which has been floating around the industry with a possible fake/working title of Greenbrier, are slim. It’s unclear if the movie would be another prequel — like AMC’s Better Call Saul — or a follow-up of some sort.
It’s also unclear is if any of the original stars, such as Bryan Cranston or Aaron Paul, are involved in the new project, which sources stress will be set in the existing Breaking Bad franchise.
Gilligan, sources say, will pen the script, executive produce and possibly direct. Breaking Bad and prequel series Better Call Saul exec producers Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein are also said to be attached to the film project, which is said to follow the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom.
Production is expected to begin this month in New Mexico. The New Mexico Film Office confirmed that a project with the title of Greenbrier is slated to shoot in in the region.
In the Breaking Bad series finale, Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman escaped a meth lab where he’d been held and forced to cook against his will. So … a man on the run after he was kidnapped who searches for freedom? If that sounds like a solid fit for Pinkman, that’s because it reportedly is about him.
According to a November report from Slashfilm, fans who guessed it was Walter White’s sidekick “put two and two together correctly: we have confirmed that the kidnapped man is Jesse Pinkman and the movie will follow his escape from Albuquerque following the bloody events of the series finale.”
Cranston was later asked about the movie on The Dan Patrick Show, and he sounded the same notes then as he did in his EW interview. “There appears to be a movie version of Breaking Bad, but I honestly have not even read the script.” He said it was questionable as to whether Walter White is in the movie, but “If Vince Gilligan asked me to do it, sure, absolutely yeah.”
Vince Gilligan’s response to a question in a GQ interview not long after Bad‘s series finale seemingly indicated he really liked the idea of Jesse getting away and living a new life:
My personal feeling is that he got away. But the most likely thing, as negative as this sounds, is that they’re going to find this kid’s fingerprints all over this lab and they’re going to find him within a day or a week or a month.
And he’s still going to be on the hook for the murder of two federal agents. But yeah, even though that’s the most likely outcome, the way I see it is that he got away and got to Alaska, changed his name, and had a new life. You want that for the kid. He deserves it.
Greenbrier—likely a working title—may be released in late 2019. It’s unclear as to whether it will premiere on AMC, home network for Bad and Better Call Saul, Netflix, or in theaters.
Given the size of the franchise’s fan following, it seems like a good bet Greenbrier will draw a big audience no matter what.