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Do we really need a Breaking Bad film?

James Hudson explores if the hit series Breaking Bad will be fit for the silver screen

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Image: 5USA

News of a Breaking Bad film has entered the echo-chamber of the internet this week; but do we really need one? The show's creator Vince Gillian clearly has a desire to explore further into the Breaking Bad universe, Better Call Saul is a successful example of this, but a sequel film will merely serve to undercut a story that has been successfully fulfilled.

No doubt though, many Breaking Bad fans will be excited by the news. A potential return of Walter White and Jessie Pinkman to screens is ostensibly a great idea; what fan wouldn't want a Breaking Bad film? Many will have faith in Vince Gillian to deliver a successful film, especially after the success of Better Call Saul which many fans were initially sceptical about. Breaking Bad still casts a significant shadow over TV; many fans return to the show for repeat viewings. Most will be counting the days till a new release.

That being said, a good story is one that is best left told. The design of Breaking Bad is one of the - if not the - best in TV history. It is analogous to a novel; each episode has been created with the end in mind, the look, tone, and feel of the show changes with its characters. Breaking Bad is rewatchable because of the level meticulousness and craft put into the show. Episodes in earlier seasons feel equally as substantial to those in the final season; each episode, and character, feels like it is working towards an bigger conclusion. There is no need to find out what happened next because we have already been given the perfect ending.

Yes, Better Call Saul has proven to be successful, but it is not a continuation of Breaking Bad; it adds context to Walt and Jessie's story. We can only speculate what the film will be about, the best guess is a sequel following on from season 5, but a return of Walter White would be a big mistake. It should be left up to us to decide what we think happens after the finale.

Image: 5USA

Another point to consider is can the style of breaking bad be successfully condensed into an approximately two-hour film? Would the film effectively be an extended episode? The style of Breaking Bad is inherently cinematic; it is beautifully shot and has a idiosyncratic style. Director of Photography Michael Slovis was as much responsible for the shows' success as Vince Gillian, if he is involved in the film that will good news. That said, it is hard to imagine Breaking Bad following a film narrative and being successful. What we will most likely get from a film is a glorified extended episode, or a shell resembling Breaking Bad, but one that is empty.

It is not difficult to imagine a Breaking Bad film being popular with fans; oversaturation of TV choice means we are clinging ever tighter to shows we already know and love. Though, a quick recollection of film adaptations of TV shows is reason enough to remain sceptical, no matter how much we all hope Vince Gillian will pull something magical out of his bag of singular storytelling skill.

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