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With Better Call Saul currently one of the more popular and obsessed-over TV shows on cable, AMC is clearly not finished mining Breaking Bad's mythology for spinoff projects. Perhaps surprisingly, though, the next chapter of Breaking Bad's tale will come in the form of a movie, with creator Vince Gilligan at the helm. Will it be all good, man?
A Breaking Bad movie has been something fans have been asking for ever since the show was still on the air, and it looks like AMC and Vince Gilligan landed on a concept and pitch that made everyone finally decide to go whole hog in jumping back to that world. How exactly Gilligan will go about resurrecting the beloved crime drama is a mystery for the moment, as is the format it will be released in. However, there are at least some clues about where the story could be headed.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, the logline for the in-development film says it will "track the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom." So, if the story is covering a timeline that follows Breaking Bad's stellar finale, then it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that the "kidnapped man" is Aaron Paul's Jesse Pinkman. (If it's a prequelized story, then I'm clueless.)
After all, Jesse was indeed kidnapped by the neo-Nazis and made to do their meth-related bidding. It was only when Walt showed up with his inexplicable trunk-fulla-guns and laid those Season 5 villains to waste. The last time viewers caught sight of Jesse, he was indeed making his escape, and it wouldn't be a stretch to say he was embarking on a quest for freedom. Or even just a quest for a hot shower and some fresh laundry.
Another potential clue to where things are heading is the Breaking Bad film's reported shooting title, "Greenbrier." Now, shooting titles are often just temporary placeholders that don't draw major attention. Often, the temp names are random and meaningless, but is it possible that "Greenbrier" refers to the area that the "kidnapped man" heads to in making his escape?
Perhaps the most familiar Greenbrier in the country is in West Virginia, which could very well be where Jesse (or whoever) ends up in making their escape. We know from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul that Robert Forster's "The Disappearer" is capable to giving people brand new lives and identities when they're on the run for whatever reason.
To bring this round of speculation full circle, what I really want to see from this Breaking Bad movie is for the story of "kidnapped man" to cross paths with Bob Odenkirk's Gene from Better Call Saul's flash-forwards. That timeline may be deeper into the future than where the movie will start things off, but that would possibly be the easiest (and most excellent) way to tie all three projects together. Assuming that connecting everything is what Vince Gilligan has in mind.
On a slightly less speculative tip, we're obviously wondering where this Breaking Bad movie is going to show up in our lives. Obviously, the goal used to be to spin a small screen project into a feature set for theatrical releases. While that could definitely still happen, it's easier to assume that AMC will be handling the project in-house to release through its streaming service.
For one, AMC did just recently announce a smorgasbord of new and interesting projects that will expand the Walking Dead franchise in huge ways. In particular, the network will produce a series of films centered on Rick Grimes, but likely without any kind of theatrical push. AMC is planning on all kinds of additional specials, miniseries and spinoff series, too. So even though Breaking Bad doesn't have quite the same kind of universe to pull from, perhaps fans could see more than just one Heisenberg-esque follow-up project from Vince Gilligan.
Another reason why this new Breaking Bad direction appears set for television is that the project will reportedly be the first one Vince Gilligan tackles in his overall deal with Sony Pictures TV that was made official over the summer. That factor doesn't necessarily preclude it from showing up on the big screen -- I'd like to see that blue meth in IMAX -- but it's a safer bet that AMC will be putting the film directly into people's homes upon release.
Stay tuned to see what's happening next with this Breaking Bad film, which is set to begin production in mid-November, and will go until February. Let us know what you think "Greenbrier" is about in the comments, too. Maybe it's a code word that really means "Walt's Not Dead," and we just have to figure out how to put two and two together.
While waiting to hear what happens, be sure to catch up with all the Breaking Bad-related fun on Better Call Saul, which can be streamed in full on its service AMC Premiere. (Season 4 is set to hit Netflix at some point, but probably not until next year, closer to Season 5's premiere.) In the meantime, the fall tv premiere schedule is also full of great shows that will hopefully deserve spinoff movies one day.