“Breaking Bad”: 10 Years Later, Creator Vince Gilligan Reflects on the Finale and Teases His Next Project
It’s hard to believe that it has been a decade since the legendary television series “Breaking Bad” aired its finale. In what is widely regarded as one of the greatest series endings of all time, the show tied up loose ends while leaving room for future stories. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the finale, series creator and showrunner Vince Gilligan sat down with Variety to reflect on the show’s unsung moments, discuss the one thing he would change about the ending, and tease his highly anticipated next project.
Gilligan admits that he is still proud of the “Breaking Bad” finale and credits the entire team for their efforts in delivering a satisfying conclusion. However, he does jokingly mention one small flaw – Aaron Paul’s perfect teeth. For a character who went through so much abuse and drug use, it seems unrealistic for his teeth to be flawless. But, as Gilligan admits, Paul’s good looks made up for it.
When discussing the ending, Gilligan reveals that one of the biggest challenges the team faced was figuring out what to do with the machine gun that Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston) purchased early in the final season. Gilligan admits that committing to this idea without knowing its purpose was “the dumbest thing” he ever did in his career. However, once they figured out how the machine gun would tie into the ending and how Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz would play a key role, things began to fall into place.
Gilligan also admits that starting the final season with a flash-forward and not knowing how they would get there was another risky move. He recalls how little they actually knew about the ending, even with only a few episodes left. However, they trusted their instincts and wrote their way out of the corners they had painted themselves into.
After “Breaking Bad,” Gilligan faced a similar challenge when creating the prequel series “Better Call Saul.” He discusses some of the obstacles they had to navigate, including introducing the character Lalo, who was mentioned in “Breaking Bad” but had not been shown. Gilligan initially didn’t think it was necessary to include every detail mentioned in the original series, but he realized that it was important to honor those references. Another challenge was figuring out Jimmy’s various wives, a detail that had been established in “Breaking Bad” but hadn’t been fully explored.
When asked about the possibility of revisiting the “Breaking Bad” characters in the future, Gilligan admits that he occasionally thinks about what could have happened to them. He hopes for a happier ending for characters like Skyler and Walter Jr., but he dismisses the idea of Walter Jr. following in his father’s footsteps as a crime lord. He believes that would be a sad tribute to the show and has no interest in exploring that storyline.
As for Gilligan’s next project, he reveals that it is a sci-fi series for Apple TV+ starring “Better Call Saul” alum Rhea Seehorn. He promises that it will be different from “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” with no crime and no methamphetamine. The series will take place in Albuquerque, but in a world that changes dramatically from the first episode, setting the stage for ongoing drama.
Overall, Gilligan is proud of his work on “Breaking Bad” and remains grateful for the opportunity to tell such a riveting story. He admits that the show had its challenges, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. As for his next project, Gilligan is excited but unsure how audiences will react. But one thing is for sure – it’s a story that interests him, and that’s a good place to start.
As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of “Breaking Bad,” fans can look back fondly on the incredible journey of Walter White and the unforgettable world of Albuquerque. And while we may never know exactly what happened to these characters after the finale, their stories will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of fans everywhere.