Albuquerque Putting Up Monuments To Breaking Bad

The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico is celebrating Breaking Bad in the most normal way possible: giant bronze statues.

By Matthew Creith | Published

breaking bad
Aaron Paul plays Jesse Pinkman in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

When Breaking Bad premiered in 2008, it was not a bonafide hit for the AMC network at the time. After being a critical darling for much of its run, the series saw an explosion of interest when episodes hit Netflix just before the start of the fourth season. When the series finale aired on AMC in September 2013, the episode became one of the most viewed shows in American television history. The series was filmed almost entirely in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with the cast and crew taking up residence in a town not typically known for its sprawling film locations and local tourism. Now, the city that brought Breaking Bad into the limelight is honoring the series this month with some permanent installations.

According to a report by IGN, the city of Albuquerque is set to unveil a pair of statues dedicated to the main characters of Breaking Bad. Bryan Cranston’s Walter White and Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman will have giant bronze statues made in their image to celebrate the tourism the series has brought to The Land of Enchantment. Commissioned in 2019 by series creator Vince Gilligan, the sculptures will be housed inside the Albuquerque Convention Center and revealed to the public in a ceremony to take place on July 29th, 2022. Cranston, Paul, Gilligan, and Mayor Tim Keller are all set to attend the event, with The Guardian noting that Gilligan chose to erect the statues to give back to the city that has been good to him through two television shows and one film.

Breaking Bad lasted five seasons and aired its final episode in 2013, with a spin-off entitled Better Call Saul following on AMC in 2015. The final season of Better Call Saul is currently airing, with the finale set for August. Breaking Bad received much attention during awards season, with 16 Primetime Emmy Award wins, including multiple trophies for Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. Better Call Saul was nominated today for the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, with series stars Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn as noted nominees. Breaking Bad also spawned a sequel film, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, which saw Aaron Paul reprise his acclaimed role.

While donating a statue to honor two fictional meth dealers may not be the perfect tribute to a major American city, it is not the first time that Breaking Bad has been celebrated in such a manner. The official website for Visit Albuquerque boasts a Breaking Bad tour fit with an RV and a driving tour of many known filming locations, including Tuco’s Headquarters, the DEA Building, Walt’s Car Wash, the White family home, and of course, Los Pollos Hermanos. Atlas Obscura also notes a real-life gravestone in Albuquerque dedicated to Walter White, who dies in the series finale. The fan-created monument is located outside a steakhouse roughly seven miles from downtown Albuquerque. It had to be moved to its current location after complaints of a mock funeral held for the fictional White at the gravestone’s original location, the Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery.