Collider attended the 37th annual Saturn Awards last night, and while at the ceremony we got the chance to interview Breaking Bad creator/showrunner Vince Gilligan. He spoke at length about one of the best shows on television, talking about his approach to the upcoming season, what characters will be getting more screen time, guest directors for season four, why they’re trying to get Werner Herzog to direct an episode, plotting the end of the series (Gilligan sees season five as possibly the final season), and much, much more. Here’s a choice quote:
“I would like to see Breaking Bad go—it kinda changes if you ask me last season or the season before versus this one, but right now I would say season five should probably be our last season. But you know, check with me a year from now, we’ll see if I change my tune.”
Hit the jump to check out the interview which we’ve time indexed. And if you missed our previous coverage from the Saturn Awards be sure to check out our interviews with makeup artists Rick Baker and Dave Elsey, Brandon Routh, Fringe’s Lance Reddick, and producer Dean Devlin.
- :12 Did they plan most of the upcoming season out beforehand or did they write it as it went?
- :51 Talks about the relationship between Walt and Gus and their interactions.
- 1:25 Discusses the new characters that pop up this season and what characters we’ll see more of.
- 2:12 Talks about the abundance of monologues in the series.
- 2:41 Talks about shooting the show on 35mm film.
- 3:19 How long does he see the show going? Says season five will probably be the last season: “I would like to see Breaking Bad go—it kinda changes if you ask me last season or the season before versus this one, but right now I would say season five should probably be our last season. But you know, check with me a year from now, we’ll see if I change my tune.”
- 3:44 Talks about how happy he is about changing his mind about killing off Aaron Paul’s character Jessie in the first season.
- 4:20 Talks about Michelle MacLaren who directed the season three episode “One Minute,” and how he met her while working on The X-Files.
- 5:13 Discusses how they planned out the entire plot of season two and dropped hints to the finale in the episode titles.
- 5:55 Will they be doing more book-ended storytelling like in season two?
- 6:36 Does he view the show as realistic or does he think it has a bit of a magical quality to it? Talks about the tone of the show.
- 7:32 Are there any bottle-episodes like season three’s “Fly” in season four?
- 8:24 Will there be any name-brand or A-list directors in season three? Says they tried to get Rian Johnson, who directed “Fly,” back but he was unable to. David Slade is directing an episode and they’re trying to get Werner Herzog to direct one.
- 9:56 Talks about how they write themselves into a corner on purpose.
- 10:54 How many episodes do they have written before they start filming? Talks about the process of breaking episodes.
- 11:58 Says they have an exit strategy in case the show is pulled from the air before they get a chance to finish out as many seasons as they want. Talks about setting an end-date before the series is finished, like Lost: “I hope I’m not put in that position of trying to figure out how to end, you know it’d be best for us to know at the beginning of a season that it is our last season, and that is my fervent hope that A. that season four is not our last season, and that B. we’ll know in advance that for instance season five might be our last season, so we can plot all 13 episodes toward that endpoint.”
- 13:45 Do they discuss the arcs with their actors? Says Bryan Cranston doesn’t like knowing what happens beforehand.
- 15:00 Talks about using flashbacks and bringing deceased characters back using chronological shifts.
- 16:09 Will we see more of Jessie’s friends Badger and Skinny Pete? Tells a funny story about Charles Baker, who plays Skinny Pete, telling him about landing a job acting in a Terrence Malick film (presumably his untitled romantic drama starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams).