A Breaking Bad movie is in the works, a source has told Collider. At this point, we’re not sure if the original stars, including Bryan Cranston, will return, or whether the Breaking Bad movie would debut on AMC or in theaters, but we haven’t seen the last of Blue Sky. That much I can tell you.
Vince Gilligan is writing the two-hour project, and while it will be set in the existing Breaking Bad universe, it’s unclear whether it will be a prequel or some other kind of follow-up. AMC’s Better Call Saul is a prequel series starring Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, who eventually becomes Walter White’s shady attorney. Since Odenkirk is currently under contract, it stands to reason that he would return, should the story, um, call for Saul’s character.
At the moment, the Breaking Bad movie is being referred to within the industry as Greenbrier, and to give you an idea of just how real this project is, the New Mexico Film Office has confirmed that a Sony production called Greenbrier will start filming in Albuquerque (where the original series filmed for six years) in mid-November, lasting through early February. A local source within the production confirmed rumors that the production is affiliated with Breaking Bad. According to the Albuquerque Journal, which broke the news, the logline refers to “the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom.” Keep in mind that that’s hardly official, and may just be a cover to throw reporters off the scent.
Collider received a tip last month that something was brewing on the Breaking Bad front, but to be honest, we weren’t sure if it was a movie, a series, or even, possibly, a Super Bowl commercial. But trust me, this is no commercial or viral video. According to the New Mexico Film Office, the production will employ approximately 300 New Mexico crew members, 16 New Mexico actors and approximately 450 background actors from New Mexico.
Gilligan wrote the script with an eye toward directing the movie, and he’ll also executive produce alongside his Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul cohorts Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein. While Netflix has signed lucrative deals with top TV producers like Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes, Gilligan recently signed a three-year deal to stay at Sony Pictures Television this past summer. Surely, an ambitious extension of the Breaking Bad franchise came up during the negotiations, and frankly, it’s a smart move for both Gilligan and Sony/AMC, which has already renewed Better Call Saul for a fifth season. They’re invested in the Breaking Bad universe, so why not go big like Game of Thrones and the like? And if the project ends up going the theatrical route, I’m sure that Sony Pictures and Tom Rothman would love to get in on the action.
It also wouldn’t be a bad move for Cranston, who could use a movie like Breaking Bad, as it would be a major cultural event. Yes, he earned an Oscar nomination for Trumbo and starred in the box office hit Godzilla, but many of his other films have faltered, if not with critics then with audiences. Besides, what is Breaking Bad without Walter White, and conversely, Cranston’s gifted co-stars Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt and RJ Mitte. As a huge Breaking Bad fan, I’d want them all to return, and I fully expect Cranston and Paul to at the very least make appearances. But I am not the one who knocks. For now, Gilligan is, and I can’t wait to see what he’s cooking up.