Alfonso Cuaron shooting Children of Men

The Directors Guild of America handed out its awards tonight for directorial achievement in 2013. Alfonso Cuarón took the top prize, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, for his work on Gravity. That all but locks him in as the Best Director Oscar winner. Steven Soderbergh won as best director of a TV movie or mini-series for Behind the Candelabra, and Vince Gilligan won the award for direction in a dramatic series for the Breaking Bad episode ‘Felina,’ beating out fellow Breaking Bad nominee Bryan Cranston, and also David Fincher, who was nominated for the pilot of House of Cards.

Read the full list of winners below. Read More »

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Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmentraut in Breaking Bad

We know Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) will be back for Better Call Saul, obviously. And potential appearances by Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) have been teased as well. But one guy series co-creator Vince Gilligan really seems to have his heart on bringing back is Mike Ehrmentraut, the no-nonsense fixer/enforcer/hitman played by Jonathan Banks.

That is, if Gilligan can get him. As he points out, most of the Breaking Bad actors have moved on to other things. And that’s not even getting into the other, non-casting challenges presented by the show. Hit the jump to see what Gilligan had to say about Banks, Better Call Saul‘s fractured timeline, and his big regret about Breaking Bad.

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Breaking Bad - Jesse

(Major spoilers for Breaking Bad follow.)

Breaking Bad is over for good, but not every character closed out the series with a definitive ending. One whose fate was left open-ended was Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), the gentle soul who had the spectacular misfortune to fall under the sway of Mr. White. The last we saw of him, he was driving off into the distance. Whether that ride ended with a fatal crash, jail time, a successful escape to Alaska, or a Disneyland trip with Brock, we don’t know.

Series creator Vince Gilligan has previously said that the ambiguity was by design, stressing that “it’s up to the individual viewer to decide what happens next for Jesse.” However, that hasn’t stopped him from coming up with some theories of his own. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

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breaking bad

Breaking Bad ended its run less than two months ago, but if you’re already eager to relive Walt’s journey from Mr. Chips to Scarface, the Breaking Bad: The Complete Series collector’s set is due out next week. And today, to show you just what’s inside, series creator Vince Gilligan has taped an unboxing video.

(Mild late season 5 spoiler coming up…) Though the case that the discs come in is an “absolutely nuts-on perfect recreation” of the money barrel that Walt buried at To’hajiilee, it does not, sadly, contain millions of dollars in cold hard cash. It does, however, contain quite a few other goodies, including a Pollos Hermanos apron, a challenge coin, a making-of documentary, and of course, all 62 episodes of the acclaimed drama. Watch the video after the jump.

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Breaking Bad - Felina

No matter how good the visuals were, the writing on Breaking Bad was always better. This was made evident to me a few months before Breaking Bad finally faded to black. Director Jason Reitman did a live read of Vince Gilligan‘s pilot script and I described the writing as follows: “As fantastic the first episode of Breaking Bad is to watch, to hear it read reveals another level of brilliance. If you were to travel back in time, sit down with Gilligan in 2007 and ask him to describe what happens in the show over a few beers, that’s what his writing sounds like. It’s perfectly, brilliantly descriptive with a language that’s filled with vulgarity and humor. It has a conversational, culturally current tone that pops off the page.”

So it’s no surprise the script to the Breaking Bad finale, “Felina,” gives much more detail to what we saw on screen. In Gilligan’s language, he describes the final mindset of his main characters, revealing how he truly felt they finished the series. Check it out below. Read More »

breaking bad

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan likes the world he and the show’s producers, cast, and writers created so much that he doesn’t want to leave. So he’s just like a lot of viewers, who also want to spend some more time in the show’s slightly tweaked version of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

And so there’s the plan to create a spin-off show, Better Call Saul, which will focus on the lawyer Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk. Like Breaking Bad, the new show will be an hour-long drama, but with heavy comic overtones — in fact, Gilligan says the balance of drama and comedy in this one will be more like 25% to 75%, as opposed to the more drama-heavy original show.

Below, Gilligan explains the approach to making the show, and says that cameos from Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are very likely.

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Breaking Bad - Felina

The genius of the Breaking Bad finale was that everything that happened in it felt so inevitable, even obvious in retrospect. Of course the ricin was for [spoiler]. Of course [spoiler] got revenge. Of course Walt [spoiler spoiler] in a [spoiler spoiler spoiler].

Yet in the days leading up to that episode, how the show would end was anyone’s guess. And Vince Gilligan is the first to admit that Walt’s path wasn’t always so clear. The writers settled on the conclusion we got only after discussing several other potential outcomes. Hit the jump to see how else Breaking Bad could’ve ended. (Massive spoilers follow, obviously.)

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As we promised in “The Ones Who Knock” Kickstarter, I did weekly recaps here for each episode of Breaking Bad. For those of you unfamiliar with my recapping style, it’s less of a straightforward plot summary and more a distillation of the most interesting elements of each week’s episode.  The recaps will spoil everything up through the current episode (S5E16 “Felina”), but won’t spoil any future episodes or even scenes from the “Next Time” segment of the show..because that’s all over now. So hold on to your pork pie hats, because here we go.
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