SAN DIEGO – Pop culture is still addicted to Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Especially Aaron Paul.
“I love Jesse. I love that guy so much. I miss him!” Paul said of the young meth-cooking business partner to Bryan Cranston’s middle-aged Walt at a 10th anniversary Comic-Con panel for "Breaking Bad."
“Arguably the greatest show that’s ever been on television” – at least according to panel moderator and ”Bad” actor Bill Burr – the AMC drug drama ran for five acclaimed seasons telling the story of chemistry teacher Walter White and his turning to the criminal life of a drug kingpin after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
“I never knew it would turn into this,” creator Vince Gilligan said about the show’s success alongside much of his cast during the Comic-Con presentation. With Walt, he just “wanted to start with a character who was very (empathetic and sympathetic), and then shake off all of the fans of the show like dog ticks.”
Here are five fun facts from the "Breaking Bad" reunion:
The show’s Beatlemania moment came early
"Breaking Bad" started as “just a small show in New Mexico,” Cranston said, and when the public started paying attention to them, “it took us by surprise.” He knew the series was having an impact around the second and third seasons when directional signs to their sets were getting stolen. “I was thinking, ‘Not only am I getting lost, but something’s happening,” Cranston said.
Believability was important from the start
A lot of "Breaking Bad" came from a realistic place, especially when it comes to the inherent violence involved in the drug trade. Being serious was something that was put in place on Day 1, Gilligan said. “You just don’t want to be the 'Hogan’s Heroes' of meth shows. If the show’s going to be about producing and selling meth, you want to take it seriously.”
And then there was the ‘Walking Dead’ theory …
Now that it’s over, the fan theories still give the show life but are certainly pretty over the top: Gilligan “got a big kick” out of hearing that there’s an idea that "Breaking Bad" and "The Walking Dead" take place in the same universe and some of Walt’s product caused the zombie outbreak. “Walt’s dead now so he could be a zombie,” Cranston said. “You know, my agents are out here. We should talk about that.”
Cranston needled Paul frequently about Jesse’s fate.
The original plan was to kill Jesse at the end of the first season, after getting Walt into the drug trade and then creating emotional turmoil going into Season 2, but the course changed early on. “That was such a no-brainer to not kill of this beautiful young man,” Gilligan said. It didn’t stop Cranston from constantly keeping Paul on his toes. Paul remembers one time after they got a script, Cranston gave him a “really long exaggerated hug and just not letting me go,” Paul said. “He’s like, ‘Hey, man, it’s been a fun ride.’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘You read the script, right?’ ‘No.’ And then he walks away!”
Fans will have to wait for the return of Walt and Jesse.
While the upcoming fourth season (premiering Aug. 6) of the prequel show "Better Call Saul" is catching up to the timeline of and linking to "Breaking Bad," “you will not see Walt or Jesse” in upcoming episodes, Gilligan said. However, “I would suspect we’d be sorely remiss if they didn’t appear on the show before it ended.” He also thinks any of those “Bad” characters “could have their own spinoff. Not saying they all will.” Paul’s all about getting a Jesse Pinkman show: “You’re saying there’s a chance?” he said hopefully. Gilligan’s response? “Anything’s possible.”