Bryan Cranston Talks BREAKING BAD Season 5 and Beyond; Says He’d ‘Rather Quit a Year Early Than a Year Too Late’

by     Posted 3 years, 132 days ago

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Yesterday I was on the Toronto set of Sony’s Total Recall remake.  While everything on Recall is embargoed until closer to its 2012 release date, we’ve been given the all clear to post what the cast said about their other projects.

During a group interview with Bryan Cranston, I asked his thoughts on the future of Breaking Bad and if the next season (season 5) would be its last.  As most Breaking Bad fans are quite aware, creator Vince Gilligan has stated numerous times that he thinks “season five should probably be our last season.”  However, recent rumblings of AMC wanting to possibly lower the number of episodes and Sony sending feelers to other networks about picking up the show makes every Breaking Bad fan nervous that Gilligan won’t have the authority to end his show when he wants.  According to Cranston:

“I would rather quit a year early than a year too late. I don’t wanna have an asterisk next to this, you know ‘Breaking Bad: Five good years and one mediocre one.’”

Hit the jump for more.

breaking-bad-character-portrait-bryan-cranstonDuring the interview, Cranston also talked about the delicate balance between the showrunner and the networks that pay for the content.  He also knows the most important thing is having Gilligan figure out when he wants to end the show before any other decision can be made.  He said:

“Knowing when to end it is key. But that being said, it is commerce still. We have to be good hosts and guests and working partners with Sony TV and AMC so that if we support them and negotiate a time and out-date that is satisfactory to Vince, I’m sure it’ll work well, and if it’s satisfactory to AMC and Sony we can all be happy. The best thing to happen would be for Vince to know exactly when he’s done, because then he can write to it. We don’t wanna finish a season and [have the network go] “Oh that was your last season,” and then we go, “Oh, we didn’t finish it. We didn’t finish the story.””

Like many of you, I think Breaking Bad is one of the best shows on any channel and Cranston’s work as Walter White is extraordinary.  While I’d love the show to last for another few years, I also agree that it’s much better to go out on top.

Here’s the full quote on Breaking Bad.

Question:  What are your thoughts on this upcoming season of Breaking Bad being the last season and the whole thing with AMC wanting to cut the episode order down?

Cranston: [Showrunner] Vince Gilligan and I have talked about this, when I first signed on, and we both are in agreement that it should be only as long as it needs to be to tell that story and the journey, but that’s a subjective comment. So how long’s long enough, how long is too long? You know what I mean. Not really knowing where Vince sits—it depends on when you ask him too, because when he’s up to his eyeballs in work and editing and he hasn’t had a break in a year and a half is a different story then if he just got back from a holiday and he goes, “Hey let’s go for three more years!” But like a proud athlete, I would rather quit a year early than a year too late. I don’t wanna have an asterisk next to this, you know “Breaking Bad: Five good years and one mediocre one.” I don’t wanna have people go, “You know that last one…” They talked about The X-Files that way. There’s a lot of series that you can point to it and say, ”For the bulk of it [it was] good.” Knowing when to end it is key. But that being said, it is commerce still. We have to be good hosts and guests and working partners with Sony TV and AMC so that if we support them and negotiate a time and out-date that is satisfactory to Vince, I’m sure it’ll work well, and if it’s satisfactory to AMC and Sony we can all be happy. The best thing to happen would be for Vince to know exactly when he’s done, because then he can write to it. We don’t wanna finish a season and [have the network go] “Oh that was your last season,” and then we go, “Oh, we didn’t finish it. We didn’t finish the story.” If it’s 20 episodes, if it’s 16 episodes, if it’s 24 episodes, I don’t know whatever, if it’s two more years, great. My personal feeling is I think we can go two more years of 13 episodes a piece. I think we can, without slowing down or getting into a rhythm that is not Breaking Bad’s style. But when it’s over it’s over, and we’ll hold true to it. I’m not gonna wake up and find out it’s not really cancer, “These aren’t your charts! I’m sorry” (laughs).

For more with Bryan Cranston, click here for what he said about his role in director Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages, how he got cast in director Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive, his role in director Andrew Stanton’s John Carter, and revealed that he’s planning on writing and directing author David Wiltse’s Home Again as a feature film when he can fit it into his schedule.  In addition, Cranston told us that he almost played Kevin Bacon’s role (Sebastian Shaw) in X-Men: First Class.

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  • Bigfiction

    This is a relief to have out in the open. The ending needs to be established before making any other decision. Soon. Personally, 5 feels perfect now and at the end of this season I’ll likely want 6, but if it goes to 6 that’s got to be it. That charismatic Breaking Bad pace and style just isn’t built for that sort of distance. It’s an implosion that needs to become quicker, more intense, and then brilliantly burn out. As long as Cranston and Gilligan stick together, I want to believe we’ll get the perfect ending we deserve and that it won’t cost the integrity of the story so far.

  • Jazzy Jace

    AMC ought to be ashamed of itself for its recent decisions – a bunch of Corporate C**ts!

    • jazzy-lame

      You eat with those fingers? AMC has many good shows, this one being the best! Get a life

  • Strong Enough

    i want a dr.jekll and mr hyde with bryan cranston and Richard Jenkins

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  • Adam

    That’s a shame, I would have loved to see Bryan as Shaw in X Men.

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  • Klem

    Like Dexter, these type of shows where the protagonist should be the antagonist, where the hero is infamous (e.g. Riddick) are a breath of fresh air. For everything else the classic ‘Greek Tragedy’ formula is like a tired old can of baked beans…you know what is going to happen before you sit down. Make more of these and tap into people’s ‘Dark side’. I say well done for having the courage to run with this project.

  • smiles

    this is the best show by far in history!! absolutly love it

  • time traveler

    Hi my loved one! I want to say that this post is amazing, nice written and include approximately all vital infos. I’d like to look more posts like this .

  • ajm

    the thing about breaking bad is that is not a drama tv show
    its bot jersey shore and its not the house, it has a big story line that continues where it left off and seasons 1-4 i see that each episode has part by part none of it is buying time its just perfect

    breaking bad = tv show of the year

  • steve f

    I love the show but it is starting to feel like a middle aged white guy fantasy. At least they have avoided the obvious moral plot line of the son getting hooked on his fathers product. It would be nice to see one of the white characters tortured and murdered in a casual don’t care style or the son having some fingers chopped off and mailed in rather the continuous just in time survival. I have to say my favourite character is the lawyer.

  • DontTreadOnMe

    This show is a work of art. Ingenious with all the grittiness of the mean streets. It would be great to extend it but it is understandable that it should not end up flat. An example of was the Sopranos finale. It left you wondering is this what we had been waiting for?

  • Jake

    I’m surprised (but delighted) that Breaking Bad is continuing. I thought the ending of season 4 seemed like a perfect finale. It’s far and away the finest TV drama ever made. And the cinematography is breathtaking.

  • Michael

    Breaking Bad is a phenomenal show. The finale should be a fantastic motion picture, rather than a final TV episode. It’s that good.

  • jesus medina

    the best i have ever seen , and i’ve seen many series great work guys

  • Dale S

    First off.. I need to say thankyou to everyone involved in making this show possible!! It is by far the greatest show ever produced! EVER! I do agree with the going out with a bang and before the show goes downhill… but I will say that I will be very sad to see it all end, I have asked around about this and the majority of people say that they will be very sadif it ends and also agree that if they really tried they could keep the show just as edgy and exciting as it has been from the beginning, this show tops any show out 10 fold.. including its competition show Weeds… I think 2 more seasons should be in order atleast, if not more… I also agree with a previous comment that its finally should be a 2 hour special or a movie length closer… Bryan Cranston… you are the man.. thank you for years of entertainment with this show…

  • Bill

    I would like to see
    -2 more seasons (or more but I understand keeping the demand)
    -A 2 hour final episode
    To those responsible congratulations on creating the best series yet known to mankind.

  • Mark

    If AMC will shut the show down, end it with a movie.
    But please AMC let Gilligan and Cranston do their jobs.
    Greetings from the Netherlands!!!

  • jery

    very good show lets wait a few more years before ending

  • Iramn Lopez

    The best tv show ever! Breaking Bad!

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