Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the feature-length movie will be a sequel revolving around Aaron Paul, who will reprise his Emmy-winning role as Jesse Pinkman. Sources also confirm that Netflix will have first-run rights to the top-secret project, which will then air on AMC. (Representatives for AMC, Netflix and producers Sony Pictures TV all declined to comment.)
As THR previously reported, the Breaking Bad movie will be written by original series creator Vince Gilligan, who will exec produce the project alongside franchise collaborators Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein. Gilligan, sources say, will direct the film, which will follow the escape of a kidnapped man (Paul’s Jesse) and his quest for freedom.
Speaking on The Dan Patrick Show, Bryan Cranston (who starred as Walter White) confirmed the Breaking Bad movie is indeed in the works. He noted he was unclear if Walter White would appear in the sequel but said he would “absolutely” appear in the movie if Gilligan were to ask him.
“It’s a great story and there are a lot of people who felt that they wanted to see some kind of completion to some of these storylines that were left open [in the series finale],” Cranston said. “This idea, from what I’m told, gets into those — at least a couple of the character show were not completed, as far as their journey.”
“I don’t know if there’s an appearance — flashbacks, flash forwards — but I’m excited about it because it’s Breaking Bad and it was the greatest professional period of my life and I can’t wait to see all those people again, even if I just come by to visit,” Cranston added.
For his part, Paul earned three supporting actor Emmy wins for his role on Breaking Bad. His TV credits include a series- regular role on the upcoming third season of HBO’s Westworld and Apple’s Are You Sleeping. He continues to voice a role on and exec produce Netflix’s animated hit BoJack Horseman and wrapped three seasons of Hulu’s The Path. He’s repped by UTA.
Breaking Bad became a critical breakout for AMC and ran for five seasons. AMC and producers Sony TV quickly greenlit the prequel Better Call Saul as Gilligan’s follow-up series. Saul, featuring Bob Odenkirk’s small-time lawyer, has been renewed for a fifth season, set to air this year.
That Netflix would have first-run rights to the Breaking Bad movie flips the script on how the original series debuted. After it launched to critical acclaim on AMC, producers Sony TV sold the drama’s streaming rights to Netflix, which helped first-run episodes on the basic cable network broaden its audience and soar to new highs.
The Breaking Bad movie would mark Gilligan’s first project to stem from the new three-year overall deal he signed with Sony TV in July. Sources said the pact is valued at less than $50 million as Gilligan is not in the same volume space as producers like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, who both signed nine-figure deals with Netflix.
A Breaking Bad film (of any sort) would be a boon for Sony TV, which, as an independent studio, has been fighting an uphill battle in an era when ownership has become increasingly important.
Deadline was first to report the distribution details.