Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan & Bryan Cranston Remember The Show's Early Days

“Breaking Bad” returns to AMC for its final eight-episode run tonight at 9/8c.

With the march toward the conclusion of the critically acclaimed series beginning this evening, fans may be wondering how creator Vince Gilligan originally pictured the end of his show when he was pitching it to Sony Television and AMC.

But, Vince admitted he doesn’t remember.

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“I can’t remember exactly what my original intention was,” he told reporters at the “Breaking Bad” panel at the recent Television Critics Association Summer Tour. “For [Walter White’s] very ending I knew that the franchise of the show, as I pitched [it] to Sony Television and AMC Networks… I used the sort of charming, if not trying to be charming, if not overused at this pint, glib line of, ‘We’re going to take ‘Mr. Chips,’ and we’re going to turn him into ‘Scarface.’’

“We abided by that for six years, but having said that, that leaves a lot of wiggle room. That leaves an awful lot of room for changing up the plot,” he continued. “I can’t even remember what my original ending was. I couldn’t see that far ahead… I really was not able to see the forest for the trees for the longest time over these last six years.”

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Bryan Cranston, who plays Walter White on the show, said he never heard Vince’s original idea for the ending. He just wanted to be a part of it because the character captivated his imagination.

“I wanted this role really bad,” Bryan said. “So coming in, it was easier when I read the pilot episode. When we read good scripts, it instills imagination in you immediately, involuntarily, and so our discussion in the first meeting was how we should look and how we should walk and what his sensibility is and this and that, but we never discussed where it was going to end up. It was just too big a subject. And as the season went on, I never found out. I never asked. I never wanted to know.

“The twist and turns of my character were so sharp that it wouldn’t help me to know,” Bryan continued. “So I was just holding on, much like the audience was, almost week to week. I would read a script about five to six days before we shot it.”

“Breaking Bad” returns tonight at 9/8c on AMC.

-- Jolie Lash

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