What’s next for the ‘Breaking Bad’ universe?

As we prepare to say goodbye to 'Better Call Saul'...

When ranking the greatest TV shows of all time, no list is complete without Breaking Bad. Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) have become icons of TV’s golden era, celebrated as quotable memes, achievable fancy dress options, and recently, as tourist-magnet statues in the show’s homeland of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The world of Breaking Bad has expanded since the main show’s conclusion in 2013. A swansong film, El Camino, filled in the blanks of Pinkman’s journey, while soon-to-finish series Better Call Saul followed Jimmy McGill’s (Bob Odenkirk) transformation into corrupt lawyer Saul Goodman. Whereas other TV franchises have stumbled in their successive spin-offs, the world of Breaking Bad has become richer and deeper – thanks in large part to creator Vince Gilligan’s presence throughout.

With Better Call Saul wrapping up its sixth and final season tonight (August 15), is it the end of Breaking Bad’s legacy or another opportunity to enrich a TV classic?

How many shows and films make up the Breaking Bad universe?

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There are three main pillars – along with some obscurities

The core tenets of Breaking Bad consist of the main show’s five seasons, follow-up film El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie and series Better Call Saul. The latter spin-off explores both events leading up to Breaking Bad and the aftermath with Saul Goodman years later.

A number of web series have also been produced, including Breaking Bad: Original Minisodes which were released over the course of Breaking Bad’s run. Snow Globe: A Breaking Bad Short was also released in conjunction with El Camino, focused on Todd (Jesse Plemons).

If you want to dive even deeper, an animated series titled Slippin’ Jimmy was released earlier this year to tie-in with the final season of Better Call Saul. The series, consisting of six episodes, follows the misadventures of a young Jimmy McGill.

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Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman and Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler in ‘Better Call Saul’ (Picture: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)

What has creator Vince Gilligan said about another Breaking Bad spin-off?

He’s trying something new – but he hasn’t ruled it out

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Ahead of the final episode of Better Call Saul, Gilligan confirmed his next project will be outside of Breaking Bad’s world – but a return in the future isn’t out of the question.

“I can definitely imagine revisiting it,” Gilligan told Rolling Stone. “Selfishly, I’d like to do so, to keep this thing going. But without naming any names, I look around at some of the worlds, the universes, the stories that I love, whether they’re on TV or in the movies. And I think there’s a certain point, and it’s hard to define, where you’ve done too much in the same universe. Just leave it alone. And some universes are much bigger and more elastic. Ours is a very small one, Albuquerque, New Mexico, versus some of these worlds and series of movies and TV shows.

“The main thing I’m scared of is becoming too much of a one-trick pony. Yes, I could do more with this universe. And maybe someday I will, especially if I fail at everything that comes next. Then I’ll come crawling back. But right now, whether there’s more room to grow or not – and there probably is – I feel like it’s time to do something new.”

Does AMC want another Breaking Bad spin-off?

Of course they do

Speaking in June, president of entertainment at AMC Networks, Dan McDermott, shared his hopes that another show within the Breaking Bad universe would come to fruition following Better Call Saul.

“I can tell you that if I could do anything to encourage Vince [Gilligan] and Peter [Gould] to continue on in this universe, I would do it,” McDermott told Variety.

“I think you’d have to ask them, but the door is always open and I long for the day my phone rings and Vince, Peter or our friends at Sony call to say, ‘Hey, I think [we’ve got] another show set in this universe.’”

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Aaron Paul and Vince Gilligan CREDIT: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

What is creator Vince Gilligan working on next?

There’s rumours about The Twilight Zone

According to Deadline, Gilligan is expected to pitch his next TV project to a number of networks in the coming weeks.

The show itself, from Sony Pictures TV, is described as being closer to Gilligan’s early work on The X-Files. It isn’t expected to be a sci-fi drama, but something which explores “similar themes of bending reality while holding a mirror to humanity”.

The new series is also compared to The Twilight Zone, in the sense that it’s “set in our world while putting a tweak on it, focusing on people and exploring the human condition in an unexpected, surprising way”.

More details of the show are expected over the coming months.

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