Breaking Bad 

Breaking Bad Originally Started Out As A Joke

The idea for Breaking Bad and the central character, Walter White, stemmed from a very interesting situation according to Vince Gilligan.

Sometimes ideas are born in the oddest of places and that was exactly the case with Vince Gilligan and how he came up with the idea for Breaking Bad. The AMC series which followed a seemingly normal high school teacher who turned to a life of crime before becoming a drug kingpin is revered as one of the best shows in history. Gilligan managed to put together an award-winning cast headlined by Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul to launch a series that went on to spawn an equally successful spinoff and sequel film. The most interesting detail surrounding Breaking Bad‘s conception is that it all started as a joke about a rolling meth lab.

Breaking Bad first debuted on AMC in January 2008. It ran for five seasons before coming to an end in 2013. By then, the drama series gained a loyal following but it has since continued to grow in popularity due to its presence on streaming and word of mouth. Walter White and his transformation into the ruthless kingpin, Heisenberg, will always be one of the most compelling fictional characters ever created. Gilligan set out to develop a character described as “Mr. Chips meets Scarface“, and it was no doubt that he succeeded.

RELATED: Every Breaking Bad Actor In The X-Files

Before developing Breaking Bad, Gilligan spent years working on The X-Files as a writer and a producer. In addition, Gilligan served as the co-creator for The Lone Gunmen, a spinoff of The X-Files which aired in 2001. The series ended after one season so Gilligan returned to The X-Files. Once that series ended in 2002, Gilligan felt a little down on his luck. While talking to a close friend about the search for a new gig, they joked about giving up and building a meth lab in a Winnebago for the purpose of driving around the country while leaving their dreams behind. The conversation (via The Guardian) instantly put an image in Gilligan’s head and the idea for Breaking Bad and Walt started cooking.

How The Concept For Breaking Bad Grew

Before the concept of Walt was fully formed, Gilligan focused on what would make a law-abiding citizen completely put his morals aside to do something so drastic like develop a meth lab. The creator wanted the series to be like a character study about Walt’s gradual transformation and lengths he would go to build this drug empire. Gilligan didn’t find it easy in getting a network to accept his idea, but he finally found a home at AMC. The show’s first season gave Gilligan a chance to present an ordinary family man who encountered a life-altering diagnosis, pushing him into a risky life of crime.

From then on, Breaking Bad dove deeper and deeper into Walt’s transformation and how it affected those around him. It also focused on the man’s motivations that changed as time went on because he started to feel as though he was immortal with his newfound power. In total, Breaking Bad won dozens of prestigious awards, including 16 Emmys. If Gilligan never had that conversation with his friend, who knows if Walter White would have ever existed.

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