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It was revealed this week that a Breaking Bad movie was about to begin shooting in Albuquerque, New Mexico under the working title Greenbrier. Not much is known about the project yet, although rumours suggest Aaron Paul will reprise his role as Jesse Pinkman. It is also said the two-hour movie will be set after the events of the Breaking Bad series which concluded in 2013, after five incredible seasons.
This announcement is not the first offshoot of the Breaking Bad universe since the series concluded. Spin-off prequel Better Call Saul has been airing since 2015, and recently finished its fourth season. I think for the creative team behind Breaking Bad, primarily Vince Gilligan, the series ended in such a perfect way where all the loose ends were tied up that when it came time to create a show to keep the train going for AMC, the network behind everything, the only place that the creative team could go was backwards to the origins of everyone’s favourite crooked lawyer Saul Goodman aka Jimmy McGill.
Better Call Saul is a really great show in case you haven’t seen it, not the straightforward spin-off you might imagine. It is much more of a slow-burn centring on McGill’s decent from good man to the morally bankrupt Goodman we see working with Walter White. It’s a great watch. However, that said, it does feel at times as though the show is unnecessarily fleshing out the world of Breaking Bad in a manner that is not really necessary.
As a viewer, the fall of Jimmy McGill is enough to engage, I don’t need to know unnecessary details such as how Gus Fring built the lab from Breaking Bad or how he and Mike got into business together. These were never questions that really intrigued me when I watched the original show, and while I thoroughly enjoy the return of the characters, their presence does feel like fan service to an audience base, or a creative one, that simply can’t let go of these characters. It’s here that we find ourselves at the Breaking Bad movie.
Much like Walter White and his perverted take on the American Dream, so too does it appear that Breaking Bad may stray into the territory of excess with this upcoming movie. As of this moment, we have very little details about the movie. We do know that Vince Gilligan is involved, which suggests there is at least creative integrity behind the project. We don’t know however whether the movie will be a theatrical or a television release. However seeing as though AMC recently announced a series of Walking Dead movies that will air on the network, and they also make Breaking Bad, it’s a safe bet to assume this new film will too be a television exclusive.
My primary problem is do we really need this? Too much of a good thing can sour appreciation fast, a lesson many television shows and movie series’ have learned. I don’t want that perfect ending of Breaking Bad altered in any way. We don’t need to see what happened to Jesse after he escaped; we, the audience, have decided what happened to him in the years since the show ended; whether he rode happily into the sunset, or suffered from torment because of the events he went through.
I don’t see how a two-hour movie will add to the series’ ending, but then again, maybe Vince Gilligan has something amazing planned, it’s too early to tell yet. But, for me, and for artistic purity, I think it’s best when perfect endings are left alone. We don’t need more Breaking Bad, we don’t need another Inception, and we certainly don’t need Toy Story 4.
Endings are sad and bittersweet, but they’re also important so that we can appreciate everything that’s happened up until that point.