Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have reiterated their eagerness to appear on the show’s spin-off, Better Call Saul. Created by Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad followed the journey of Walter White (Cranston) as he transitioned from a mild-mannered high school teacher into the criminal kingpin known as Heisenberg. The character recruited Jesse Pinkman (Paul), a former student, to assist him in building his drug empire. The show ran for five seasons of critically-acclaimed and award-winning episodes, ultimately concluding in 2013. Regardless, its passionate following has remained, with fans perpetually eager to return to the show’s expansive universe.
That void was largely filled with the debut of Better Call Saul in 2015. With occasional vignettes of post-Breaking Bad events, the show mostly acts as a prequel that explores the journey of Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) as he transitions into the much-beloved criminal lawyer known as Saul Goodman. Co-starring such other Breaking Bad stalwarts as Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) and Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), the spin-off has aired five equally well-received seasons. It was announced earlier in the year, however, that Better Call Saul season 6 would also be the show’s last.
During a live stream on his personal Instagram, Paul discussed a number of topics including the potential for further adventures within the Breaking Bad universe. Joined by Cranston, the duo circled around to the specific idea of officially crossing streams with the prequel before it officially wraps. “We always get asked about Better Call Saul and whether Jesse or Walt are gonna show up on that show. I don’t know how many times we’ve gotta tell Vince that we’re ready to do it,” Cranston said. “I just don’t think he loves us anymore.”
Both Paul and Cranston already reprised their roles in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. Paul took the leading role – finally able to bring Jesse Pinkman’s journey to a more definitive and peaceful conclusion than afforded the character by Breaking Bad. Cranston, meanwhile, cameoed in a brief flashback as the dearly departed Walter White. As an actor, Paul admittedly struggled in the aftermath of Breaking Bad. His career has experienced something of a resurgence in recent times, however, with a prominent role in Westworld season 3 and a number of confirmed big-screen projects on the horizon. Alternately, Cranston has mostly been on Broadway or lending his voice to various animated offerings.
Fans would no doubt be thrilled to see things come full circle with an appearance from Jesse and/or Walter. Besides Mike and Gus, several Breaking Bad characters have featured on the prequel. Whether they ultimately do, however, will have more to do with the story than personal affection (as Cranston joked). A large reason for the universe’s success is Gilligan’s commitment to making fan service fit within the story rather than merely exist for its own sake. As such, the ultimate Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul reunion will be dependant on whether it can be achieved in an organic way – without overshadowing Saul’s own journey, undermining Jesse and Walter’s endings, and risking the continuity that has been established over the last decade.