'Breaking Bad' Ending Was Almost A "'Wild Bunch' Bloodbath"

As it is, the Breaking Bad finale was pretty damn violent. But apparently, things could've gotten even bloodier. According to showrunner Vince Gilligan, at one point the writers were considering killing off just about everybody in a "Wild Bunch bloodbath of an ending."

So what made them change their minds? Hit the jump to read Gilligan's explanation ā€” as well as details on some other Breaking Bad alternate endings that could've been.

We had so many versions of the ending, and we really had boxed ourselves into a certain number of corners well in advance of the ending. Out of cockiness or stupidity, 16 episodes from the end, we had Walter White show up in a beard, long hair, and a new set of glasses, buying an M60 machine gun in a Denny's parking lot. We didn't really know how we were going to get to that story point ā€” we didn't even know what that meant or what Walt was going to use that machine gun for. So that was kind of ill-advised.

That gun led to Gilligan and his team considering some pretty bloody ends.

We had an idea for the longest time that Walt was going to break into the downtown jail in Albuquerque and just shoot the sā€” out of the jail with this M60 machine gun and rescue Jesse (Paul). Of course, we kept asking ourselves, "Well, how bad is Walt going to be at the end here? Is he going to kill a bunch of upstanding, law-abiding jail guards? What the hell kind of ending is that?" And then we had some version of it where he's going to shoot up a prison bus. We had so many crazy ideas. But the crazier ideas went away bit by bit and step by step as we kept filling in the blanks of each episode.

Then there was the time they thought about just offing the entire cast.

At one point, we talked about killing off every major character, and one particularly dark week along the way we talked about killing everybody ā€” having some sort of Wild Bunch bloodbath of an ending.

What stopped them, Gilligan said, was the realization that he didn't "necessarily" need all that bloodshed.

But you live with those ideas for a while and you think, "What do we need to kill all these characters for?" Just because an ending is dramatic or perhaps overly dramatic does not ensure that it will be satisfying." We thought to ourselves, "Let's just go with what feels right to us."

In the end, Gilligan sounds pretty happy with the decision he and his team made.

I feel very fortunate to be able to say, "No, I don't think I would change anything." And listen, if you catch me again a year from now, maybe I'll have awakened in the middle of the night and said, "Oh my god, I realized we missed a trick there!" But so far so good. I feel pretty good about it.

Do you think Gilligan made the right move, or would you have preferred that "Wild Bunch bloodbath" alternate ending?