There were doubts from the city of Albuquerque in 2006, when the pilot for a new show called “Breaking Bad” was slated to film.
At the time, the city didn’t know if a project about a teacher-turned-meth dealer would be the right fit.
Production on the pilot began in March 2007 and the series has become a cultural juggernaut.
Flash forward to July 29, 2022, and the city will honor Walter White and Jesse Pinkman – the series’ iconic characters – by installing bronze statues at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Actors Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul brought those characters to life for multiple seasons.
Series creator Vince Gilligan is donating the bronze statues to the city. He commissioned them in 2019 from sculptor Trevor Grove.
Cranston told the Journal that he and Paul were going to be involved in the unveiling of the statues. It was then he pitched the idea to get involved with the Albuquerque Isotopes. The pair will be at Isotopes Park on July 30 together raising money for two New Mexico-based charities and to promote their joint-venture Dos Hombres Mezcal – a drink that will be available to buy during Isotopes games starting in mid-July.
“When I had the idea to say, well, we’re coming to do this unveiling of these statues,” Cranston says. “It’s humbling and fun to think about that.”
Cranston continued to say that he’s ecstatic that the show’s popularity keeps growing.
“We’re so excited about the shows, that (we) had no idea that this would ever become, you know, what they became and that it’s now drawing tourism,” he says of “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul. “We meet all the people all the time (that) said, ‘Hey, I just came back from Albuquerque, I took the Breaking Bad Tour and this and that.’ … It makes me smile, because it’s one way to say thank you to the city and to the state for being such great hosts to us over all these years.”
Gilligan has spent more than a decade working on both series and has prominently made Albuquerque a character in each series.
“Over the course of 15 years, two TV shows and one movie, Albuquerque has been wonderful to us,” Gilligan said in a statement. “I wanted to return the favor and give something back.”