Despite becoming a more prominent film actor in the last couple of years (Argo, Drive), there's no doubt that Bryan Cranston will forever be known primarily as a television actor. His role as the master crystal meth chef/terminal cancer patient Walter White on AMC's Breaking Bad has cemented his place in dramatic television history, as has the numerous amount of awards he has won as a result - including a 2013 SAG Award.
However, with Breaking Bad in its final season this year, viewers have been wondering what Cranston's next move will be. Considering his wealth of success, he'll certainly have plenty of opportunities to do pretty much whatever he wants - and that seems to be becoming more involved behind the camera, which is where Sony is ready to allow him to go.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cranston has just inked a first-look deal with Sony Pictures Television - which currently produces Breaking Bad - that will grant him the opportunity to develop new shows for the studio. The deal will certainly open a lot of new creative doors for Cranston, and it affords him the option to stay in front of the camera as well.
Cranston has made it clear for a while now that he wants to direct a self-made project. When speaking with Knoxville.com in October, he said his plans after Breaking Bad included directing a film that he had himself written. Interestingly, he also said in the interview that he desired to step away from TV for two to three years, but this recent deal with Sony obviously suggests otherwise.
We've seen his versatility as an actor - with roles ranging from Hal on Malcolm in the Middle to Walter White - but can he bring a unique vision and voice to a series as a showrunner and director? The answer is likely yes.
What most Cranston fans don't realize is that he's already quite accomplished as a director and no one is doubting he has plenty of creative energy to spare. His directing credits include seven episodes of Malcolm in the Middle and three on Breaking Bad, including the upcoming second-half premiere of season 5. He also directed episodes of Modern Family and The Office last year.
Whatever new series Cranston comes up with, one thing seems certain. He will be in television for a while longer and I think we can all agree that's a very good thing.
Be sure to catch the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad when the series returns to AMC on July 15.