With "Breaking Bad" Over, Bryan Cranston Will Direct A Movie And More TV
The three-time Emmy winner has plans to move behind the camera in the post-Walter White era. Plus: Saul Goodman's advice for Anthony Weiner.
Walter White is always in charge.
As Bryan Cranston's already commendable acting career took off thanks to Breaking Bad, his growing directorial portfolio was given an injection of opportunity as well. The final season premiere of the hit AMC drama doubles as his third shot-calling effort on the show, and post-Breaking Bad, Cranston says he plans on directing a feature film.
"I hope to, in the latter part of next year, I hope to be directing a screenplay that I wrote," the 57-year-old actor told BuzzFeed on Wednesday night. "It's a murder mystery... It's a very dark subject, very Breaking Bad in tone, with some sick humor connected to it."
In 2011, Cranston spoke about writing and directing an adaptation of David Wiltse's book Home Again; it would seem, from subject matter and timeline, that this remains the script that he wants to bring to the big screen. Now, with the meth business in his past, he can devote his time to the sizable task of getting his second feature film off the ground. Cranston previously wrote, directed, and starred in 1999's Last Chance.
The book is a father-son story about an FBI agent and his 16-year-old kid, but while it would seem to be a perfect fit for Cranston to direct himself as a leading man again, he was noncommittal about getting in front of the camera.
"It's possible, but I'm not thinking in those terms yet," he said. "I'll have to take a real honest look at it, and if one of the roles is right for me, then I would plug myself in. If not, then I won't."
Before he heads off to make the movie, Cranston will return to direct another episode of Modern Family, which will be his second. He called the experience of directing the ABC comedy's "Election Day" episode, which aired in April 2012, "just a lot of fun, a lot of laughs."
Meanwhile, Cranston's Breaking Bad cast mates are also keeping busy now that their trip in the Land of Meth and Money has come to a close.
Bob Odenkirk will be going off on a comedy tour with his Mr. Show cohorts David Cross and Brian Posehn. It won't technically be a reunion tour for their cult HBO comedy hit — it's titled an Evening with Bob and David (and Posehn) — but Odenkirk did say that a long-awaited, official, you-can-print-the-tee-shirts reunion will happen in two years.
It won't be a greatest hits tour, either; Odenkirk said they'll have about 90% new material prepared for the event.
There's also the matter of that rumored spin-off for his hilariously slimy lawyer character on Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman, and Odenkirk said he'd be happy to revive the sleaze-bucket attorney should creator Vince Gilligan make that call. In such an event, he liked the idea of placing the show in a new city — like Las Vegas.
"See, I think Vegas would be attractive to Saul because Oscar Goodman is the mayor, and Saul could become mayor," he said, laughing at the prospect of all the delightfully awful things his character could do in Sin City.
And speaking of mayors, Odenkirk channeled Saul to give some advice to embattled former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who is struggling to maintain his campaign for Hizzoner in New York amid another sexting scandal.
"I'd say double down, triple down. Get out there, send out some tweets tomorrow. Naked Carlos Danger, back in the game and proud of it."
Dean Norris, who played Walt's bulldog DEA agent brother-in-law Hank, got back at it right away, transitioning over to his new show, CBS's hit Under the Dome, the moment he wrapped on Breaking Bad in New Mexico.
"I literally got on a plane, flew to North Carolina, and started my new show," Norris said. "I was supposed to go the next day, but I got done early enough and I was traveling back to the hotel and I called and said, 'Is there a plane available to go to North Carolina?' and they said yep, one left. So I went there and hopped on a plane."
Didn't he want a break?
"No, I think I would have just sat in the hotel, drank, and been depressed," he reasoned. "So this way I sat in a plane and drank, was depressed, and by the time I got off, I was on a new show."
His TV wife, Betsy Brandt, also went right back to work, having been cast opposite Michael J. Fox in his new NBC sitcom. The former Marie Schrader purposely went after a comedy, she said, because no drama could live up to the experience of Breaking Bad.