Breaking Bad Is Already Being Rebooted

After years of attempts, Breaking Bad is being rebooted in Korea.

By Phillip Moyer | Updated

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Since brand new creative endeavors are, unfortunately, not guaranteed to make bank at the box office, Hollywood has made a habit of regurgitating the same titles and franchises over and over again until they can no longer squeeze money out of their mangled corpses. One of the rare original IPs that did take off was Breaking Bad, which followed Walter White as he became a rising star in the very illegal drug trade. While Hollywood has so far kept its grubby mitts off of the show, Comicbook reports that another industry has decided to reboot it: Korean Television. 

Yes, the country that brought us Squid Game and Oldboy has decided that it shouldn’t just be America that cashes in on other countries’ successful franchises. Reports are circulating that a number of Korean entertainment companies are exploring the possibility of remaking Breaking Bad for a different audience. These companies have reportedly been considering an adaptation for years, and one of them is close to finally securing the rights to the AMC show.

The original Breaking Bad, created by Vince Gilligan, lasted for five seasons. It tracked the life of its main character, Walter White, as he climbed the ladder of the criminal underworld and then fall back down again. It was praised for its acting, complex characters, and captivating portrayal of American social ills that usually get swept under the rug.

Walter White’s character was masterfully portrayed by Bryan Cranston — an actor who was previously best known for his comedic role of Hal in the family sitcom Malcolm in the Middle. The role of Walter White was career-changing for Cranston, who had been practically stuck in comedic roles since the late 90s. After Breaking Bad revealed the breadth of Cranston’s acting abilities, he’s begun appearing in more-serious films and series, including ArgoTrumbo, and the Showtime series Your Honor

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Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad was a huge deal for more people than just Bryan Cranston. It helped kickstart the careers of both Aaron Paul and Bob Odenkirk, both of whom were practically unknown before the series began. The city where the series took place, Albuquerque New Mexico, has even put up monuments to the series — despite the fact that it portrayed a dark criminal underworld that destroys everything it touches.

Breaking Bad also had a 2019 Netflix film, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, which saw Aaron Paul reprise his role to show the events immediately following the series’ end. It also spawned a spinoff series, Better Caul Saul, starring Bob Odenkirk. 

The details of the Korean adaptation of Breaking Bad remain scarce. It’s unknown whether the remake will follow the story directly, or if it will ditch the Meth trade for a social ill that’s more common in Korea. Either way, it would be surprising if Breaking Bad remains dead in the United States, even though Bryan Cranston has said that a 2023 Super Bowl commercial will be the last time he ever plays Walter White.