‘Breaking Bad': Bryan Cranston Hints at Walter White’s Return – Bad Idea?

Published 11 months ago by

Breaking Bad Series Ending Breaking Bad: Bryan Cranston Hints at Walter Whites Return   Bad Idea?

To borrow a phrase from Game of Thrones, “What is dead may never die”, when it comes to beloved television shows and the fidelity of the fan armies that sustained them when they were on the air. But while the passions of those fans (and eager television executives with dollar signs in their eyes) must be respected, their burning desire to always get just one more taste of their beloved and cancelled shows, can sometimes undermine the cleanest and most well constructed series endings.

Breaking Bad is a prime example. It has been eight months since Vince Gilligan’s illustrious crime drama came to an end with the main character, Walter White (Bryan Cranston), laying in the dirt – dead or nearly – while surrounded by the crumbs of his ultimate legacy. In the intervening months between then and now, the praise and criticism for that end has mostly subsided. We now hear speculation about Better Call Saul and which characters from Breaking Bad might appear on the prequel/spin-off, but now Cranston is ever so slightly giving legitimacy to a theory that White may not be dead.

Appearing on CNN to promote Godzilla and the play All the Way (in which Cranston plays former President Lyndon B. Johnson), the actor was asked, point blank, if White was actually dead. Here’s a brief transcript of Cranston and host Ashleigh Banfield’s interaction:

Banfield: I’m going to ask you really, seriously, I wasn’t so sure you died. I really wasn’t,” Banfield said. “Your eyes were open and I thought, ‘what if the police just take him into custody, he gets better, breaks out and just goes nuts?

Cranston: Hey, you never saw bag zip up or anything.

Banfield: Is he dead?

Cranston: I don’t know.

Banfield: No movie, no nothing? No Walter White ever again?

Cranston: I don’t… you know… I don’t… never say never. Let’s just say that.

Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad Rabid Dog Breaking Bad: Bryan Cranston Hints at Walter Whites Return   Bad Idea?

Vague and intriguing, but is there any merit to Cranston’s words, or was he just having a little bit of mischievous fun with Banfield and the rest of us? Unfortunately, we can’t know for sure, but prior to this exchange he did talk plainly about his mission as an actor who has found success in a certain type of role.

You’re a victim of your success, perhaps. Once you do something that gets notoriety, they offer you roles that are similar to that and you become derivative of yourself. And I just didn’t want to do that. I keep wanting to change things up.

One can, if they are so inclined, stretch the meaning of “change things up” to include reprising the role of Walter White on Better Call Saul (if that were to happen), since it might show the character at a different, un-seen point in his journey. That adds color to the work that already exists and perhaps enhances our understanding of the character. But a movie or even an event series where we see Walter’s journey continue? That can’t be anything other than a rehash for Cranston – and despite the brief joy that would come from seeing the resurrection of a truly unique character, one imagines that the lasting legacy of such a continuation might be one of disappointment (and, for lack of a less dramatic word, betrayal).

Breaking Bad didn’t end abruptly and it didn’t really end with ambiguity. You can argue with the way he did it, but Gilligan gave the audience closure and took the long way to get to that ending and make it fit within the framework of the show, all while we watched and absorbed the story that he was telling. To sloppily sew a new ending onto that doesn’t just cheapen that “journey” for us as viewers, it makes all further endings seem suspect.

community s5 season premiere Breaking Bad: Bryan Cranston Hints at Walter Whites Return   Bad Idea?

All over the internet, fans clamor for these kinds of returns when a show dies or leaves the stage of its own accord (myself included), though usually they do so for shows that meet less than satisfying conclusions, bolstered by the scattered success stories and the ocean of movie rumors and supportive cast members and fan communities.

Community is the latest, and that’s no surprise considering the uproar that has come every time the show’s future seemed in doubt, but this time it feels different. This time it feels like some are going through the motions, even though this is the realest threat to Community‘s future that there has ever been. #SixSeasonsAndAMovie cries can still be seen on the internet, but even Dan Harmon, the general of the Communie army, seems less than eager to keep the show going. And after watching the final episode of last season, which Harmon surely knew might be the the last episode ever, that isn’t exactly distressing news. Community feels done. Harmon seems spent, and without two of the major cast members (Chevy Chase and Donald Glover) from the bulk of the show’s run, the fight for continuation to fulfill a hashtag mandate feels like an obligation.

Breaking Bad poster with Jesse and Walt Breaking Bad: Bryan Cranston Hints at Walter Whites Return   Bad Idea?

Fans put their whole heart into these shows, though, so it’s understandable why these “campaigns” take root, but at the end of the day – and I hate to use such a heavy analogy – we’re a bit like Dawn in the “Forever” episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, desperately trying to bring back someone (or in this case, something) that we loved. Thing is, if there is nothing left of what attracted us to these shows in the first place, if the stories have run their course, or if the show has come to an end naturally, then what are we fighting for?

Again, it’s a heavy analogy, but much as death gives life its meaning, these stories matter more because they have an ending. Nothing, save for The Simpsons, lasts forever. We ought respect that more and ache less for hollow reunions and easy money – because at the end of the day, the punch of a story should matter more than sentimentality.


Godzilla is in theaters now. Better Call Saul is set to premiere on AMC in November 2014.

Source: CinemaBlend

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
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  1. I think Cranston was just joking… Vince Gilligan is a master genius, he is not the type of man to go “Oh I wish I hadn’t ended that show” and bring it back, he’s a genius, he’ll find other things to move on to, be it a Breaking Bad spin-off or not… As for Walt’s return, cameos in the Better Call Saul prequel is all I can see. We see that he is either dead or close to it at least. He got a gunshot wound and why would cops hurry him to a hospital? I can honestly say I have NEVER heard of a case where cops find someone they want to put in jail on the ground, wounded, and take them to the hospital to get better just so they can go to jail, where they will suffer anyways… Cops have better things to do than go “Oh yeah, I want him to suffer in jail.” Well, at least, they should… Also, why would Gilligan revive him when the end result would more than likely be Walt dying in the end anyway? It doesn’t make sense just to go “Oh yeah, I want to play with the character more”, take them for a few more seasons just to kill him off again! Especially not with Vince Gilligan running the show… Just saying, not trying to start fights…

    • you are truly insane … they want you to rot in jail believe me its by the book regardless even if he killed 100 people and 10 cops rather than 2 .. if they’re was any chance of him surviving like even LITTLEST chance … then he does ..

      • You took the words right out of my mouth! This guy obviously has little knowledge of the justice system! Even if the police that find you are corrupt (which isnt ad common as hollywood makes it look) they would still love nothing more than to watch you live in the man made hell hole that is prison!

    • I absolutely agree.

      • And they would need WW to track down Pinkman…..

  2. Walter White is dead and I pray to the TV gods that he stays that way.

    I don’t even want to see the character in Better Call Saul unless it’s during the very final scene of the series when Walt walks into Saul’s office.

    Anything else would feel cheap or like stunt casting IMO.
    We already know Walt had no idea who Saul was before they met on the show so I don’t see how it could work. Unless we saw Walt and Saul pass each other in a grocery store or something there is no other reason for him to show up.

    Jesse, Gus, Badger, Skinny Pete, Mike (already cast) and maybe Hank are the only characters that could appear on the show and it would make sense.

  3. Leave the party early so you don’t overstay your welcome. I don’t want to see a forced rehash of “Breaking Bad” that is given the hook after the popularity of Heisenberg plunges like the Hindenberg.

  4. Bringing Walter back would be the only way to screw up a nearly perfect series.

  5. They brought Jack Bauer back, so why not Walter White? Come on Vince, give us 4 more years!!!

    • Thing is, Bauer never died in his show and his show also didn’t suck like White’s did.

      • Excuse me. Are you saying Breaking Bad sucked?

        • Dazz goes out of his way to post hate comments on just about everything but amazing spiderman 2 and Godzilla. So, take everything he says with a gigantic lump of salt, or dismiss his comments altogether.

          • Another Breaking Bad post and another comment from Dazz saying it sucked.
            Why even bother??
            We get it, you didn’t like the show but what’s the point in reading and commenting on every article about it if you didn’t like it?

      • Lol dazz you are either an alien or you didnt get enough spankings as a kid! To even compare breaking bad to 24 is absolute insanity! Breaking bad was so widely recieved with praise, they arent even in the same ballpark! Not saying 24 is a bad show by any means! But if you wanted to compare the two! The story telling and creativity of breaking bad alone sets the show on a major league level, while 24 (like i said not a bad show) is still at peewee camp! Its like comparing ironman to hamlet!

      • An incorrect opinion.

      • Wow, you are probably one of like 3 people I have ever talked with in ANY capacity (including anonymous forums/blogs) that didn’t like the show.

        Why don’t you take your hate to some very remote corner of the internet so you can talk amongst yourselves and leave the other 99.999% of us out of it.

  6. I’d say Cranston was only joking, Breaking Bad is done and Walter is dead, it’s finished, wouldn’t be cool at all if they brought it back, This and Game of Thrones are the best TV shows ever, bringing back BB would ruin it all IMO..

  7. He’s joking. On NPR he already said the character should not be brought back. Play lotto, you have a better chance.

  8. Remember all the times Cranston was asked if he was up for the role of Lex Luthor in Batman vs Superman? He always seemed really sly about it and never really confirmed or denied the rumours.

    Cranston loves messing with people, he is really mischievous haha. You should read some of the stories about the pranks he pulled on the set of Breaking Bad :)

  9. I think we’d need to see a video of that interview to really know, sometimes joking doesn’t translate too well to text… I’m sure Gilligan knows better than to mess with the nice contained story he’s created though. What’s annoying is that people can’t seem to accept the closing of a story unless the ending is 100% absolute.

    I’m a bit conflicted on Community though. On the one hand, Season 5 didn’t seem quite the same, but on the other hand I think there’s an argument to be made that fans want a much better send-off for the characters than that lackluster series finale.

  10. Its possible we’ll see him in Saul series but thats it.

  11. I wish they had ended Supernatural after season 5

  12. I agree with the tenor of this column: a revival of Breaking Bad with a living Walter White would be cheesy and demeaning to a television series which ranks as one of the greatest ever. This program pulled no punches — they shouldn’t pull a cheap switcheroo on us now by revealing, “Oh, Walter isn’t dead after all.” BTW — regarding Bryan Cranston and Godzilla — SPOILER ALERT — that film was ruined for me by the fact that — SPOILER ALERT — his character buys the big one twenty minutes into the movie. I was stunned, particularly because the trailers clearly dangled him as a major draw of the movie (it’s one strong reason I was relatively eager to see it.) When he died in the first reel, part of me sort of expected it to be revealed that *his* character was going to eventually turn up not really deceased (it might have worked in Godzilla; won’t in any Breaking Bad sequel). I suspect Cranston’s astonishing Breaking Bad success bubbled up either during or after Godzilla’s production, and in an attempt to cash in on his popularity, the powers that be decided to frame the film as a major Brian Cranston vehicle — which it most definitely is not. In fact, after his sudden passing, the film immediately begins to tank.)

  13. I would say yes only (and I really mean ONLY) if the original writers can come up with some clever and original story arc to progress the story of Walter White in just as interesting and compelling a way as they did Breaking Bad.

    If they can’t do that then please don’t force banality on us.

  14. Perhaps Heisenberg could return and help find Dexter a somewhat acceptable series ending, or a decent final season?

  15. Walt please leave Jesse to live he is turning his life around right now he is so confused he does not know if coming or going great job on the ACTING