The Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd recently stated that the blue meth from Breaking Bad caused the zombie outbreak. The Walking Dead premiered on AMC in 2010 and quickly became a cultural phenomenon. The show is anchored by its amazing characters; however, it was The Walking Dead's air of mystery and suspense that hooked audiences in the first few seasons.
Much like LOST, The Walking Dead presents its plot through the eyes of its characters. This creates some amazing storytelling opportunities, but it also means fans have a limited scope of the big picture. In the case of The Walking Dead, it means that the audience only know as much as the characters do. One of the biggest mysteries that has loomed over the show is what exactly caused the zombie outbreak. And after eight seasons, the show still hasn't revealed what caused the world to end. Over the years, the comic book creator, Robert Kirkman, has confirmed that there is a cause, but he claims it’s not an important aspect of the story. Nevertheless, fan are curious about zombie virus’ origin, so much so that the question is brought up at almost every Walking Dead panel.
During the Fear the Walking Dead panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 (via We Live Entertainment), a fan inevitably asked what caused the zombie outbreak. Instead of dodging the question, Hurd addressed it head-on. In a short reply she stated, “The meth from Breaking Bad, for sure”. Kirkman quickly added, “That’s canon, it’s confirmed”. The audience took Kirkman’s response as a joke and erupted into laughter.
Given Hurd’s brevity and tone, it’s easy to assume her explanation is a joke. But the reason she said it is because it falls in line with a popular fan theory called "The Breaking Dead Theory." This theory suggest that Walter White's blue meth caused people to turn into zombies - at least, those who smoked too much. The theory revolves around several Breaking Bad Easter eggs that have popped up on The Walking Dead over the years, and it became so prevalent that Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and star Bryan Cranston have commented on it in the past.
If Hurd and Krikman's comments are to be taking seriously, it would be an unprecedented moment in television history. Not only would these two monolithic shows be directly connected, but Walter White would be explicitly responsible the zombie apocalypse. Moreover, he’s indirectly responsible for all the hardships the characters faced on The Walking Dead. It would also change the the trajectory of White as a character. Sure, he made some bad choices on the show, but nothing akin to a global apocalypse.
Putting fan theories aside, Hurd and Kirkman’s responses were certainly in jest. The truth is that fans may never learn what caused the zombie outbreak. That may seem like a letdown, but the show has never been about finding a cure. At its core, The Walking Dead has always been about survival and striving to create a better future for everyone that's still alive.
The Walking Dead season 9 premieres October 7 on AMC.
Source: We Live Entertainment/Youtube