‘Breaking Bad’ revels in the darkness

“Breaking Bad” showrunner Vince Gilligan is fully aware his stellar drama is dark. But if it wasn’t for AMC and Sony, it might’ve become even more bleak.Breakingbad

At Wednesday night’s Paleyfest panel, Gilligan told the crowd that in his first draft, it was actually Bryan Cranston’s meth-selling Walter White who kills off Jesse Pinkman’s g.f. Jane with an overdose of heroin near the end of the second season. After chatting with the studio, Gilligan decided it was best if Jane did herself in.

“It’s the only time we’ve ever gotten a call,” Gilligan explained. “It was from Sony, and they said, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’”

Gilligan and Cranston did most of the talking during the sesh, but it was nice to see co-stars Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, RJ Mitte and Dean Norris — as well as exec producer Mark Johnson — talk about what new turns their characters will undergo during season three. The first episode launches March 21, and much of the hour deals with the ramifications of the airline crash that occurred above the deep blue Albuquerque skies.

The new season will also deal with how Gunn, who plays Cranston’s wife, Skyler, handles the news that her husband is not who she thinks he is.

“She thought the worst thing he was doing was having an affair,” said Gunn. “What does she do with this? Much of the season asks if she has the strength to get through it.”

Cranston reiterated how grateful he was for the role following his seven-year turn in Fox laffer “Malcolm in the Middle.” The joy for an actor, he explained, was being able to see a character move from one extreme to another.

“My character has undergone a metamorphosis from Mr. Chips to Scarface,” he said, giving the crowd a good laugh.

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