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Steven Soderbergh Thinks The Last 2 Episodes Of 'Breaking Bad' Should Be Shown In Theaters

by Kevin Jagernauth
May 30, 2013 12:01 PM
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Breaking Bad Steven Soderbergh

To be certain, Steven Soderbergh has had no shortage of ideas and opinions when it comes to the state of the current movie industry. And after putting himself out there with his now famous speech at the San Francisco International Film Festival, the director hasn't been shy in answering followup questions, and he continues to share his thoughts on what the movies and television are doing right...and wrong. His latest brainstorm concerns a show that this summer might be an even bigger blockbuster event than anything hitting the multiplex. That's right, we're talking about the final season of "Breaking Bad."

The show, which left off on a helluva cliffhanger last year, will finally let us know the fate of Walter White with eight episodes starting on August 11th on AMC. And Soderbergh thinks it would be really cool if the final two were given the big screen treatment, instead of only going down in your living room. “I thought it would be really cool to have the final two episodes of the show as a movie that aired the Friday after the penultimate episode," he told Empire. "You'd sell that during the season – ‘See the season finale in theatres!’ – and just run it for a week, but I feel like you’d clean up. It’s never been done before.”

"It’s [in cinemas for] one week, then you can download it” he said, elaborating on his pitch, “but for the fans to have a communal viewing experience that week, that’d be super-cool.”

And you know what? It would be. We'd be all for heading into packed theater to share what finally happens with Walter White with a bunch of devoted fans. It would certainly be something pretty special... AMC, are you listening? Would you be up for watching the last episode of "Breaking Bad" at a theater near you? Let us know below.

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  • frank | July 21, 2013 12:06 PMReply

    Hell yeah, in theatres. It would be an event

  • Luis T | June 8, 2013 7:29 AMReply

    DO IT! That would just make breaking bad that much more epic. -Tucson, AZ

  • Reinier | June 2, 2013 8:22 AMReply

    If I'd live in America, I would have found this a great idea, but here in Holland they're currently showing season 3 and having to wait who knows how long for the last 2 episodes would kill me. We all know they wouldn't just play it in theatres 2 weeks, it would be in there for months. And as great and loyal as the BB fanbase is, maybe its too small to fill up theatres over the entire US. I'm praying this won't happen....

  • BonMot | June 1, 2013 10:05 AMReply

    A theatre or downloading? No, thanks. I'm slightly mobility-impaired so theatre is difficult for me... and perhaps hundreds of others in similar circumstances. Plus I really like watching with friends/family at home where we can chatter and comment, and relish popcorn that doesn't cost an arm and an arthritic leg.

  • Burton | June 1, 2013 12:58 AMReply

    I'm all for this. The only way to improve on the idea is to donate the proceeds to charity. Half to cancer research, half to treatment for recovering meth addicts. Do that, and Soderbergh's idea is beyond reproach.

  • Nelson Auge' | June 2, 2013 11:12 AM

    Fantastic idea.

  • Josh | June 1, 2013 10:04 AM

    Well done sir.

  • Kristen | May 31, 2013 3:12 PMReply

    I love going to the theaters because there is something special about sharing the experience, especially when it's a piece with a strong fan base. Cinemark Theaters show old movies like Casablana and Jaws and that experience is my favorite because the theater is full of kindred spirits. Sure TV is not film but its not like asking Breaking Bad be given an Academy Award. Many theaters show operas and press events. I would jump at the opportunity to see Breaking Bad on the big screen as I'm sure most of my friends would. However, I don't think it should be shown exclusively in theaters for those who prefer to watch in the comfort of their own homes. That way AMC will still massive ratings along with the added income from a theatrical run. My only concern would be the beginning of a new trend that other not-so-noteworthy TV series' would adopt. But for Breaking Bad I'd join the masses at the theaters!

  • Peggy | May 31, 2013 11:44 AMReply

    TV is not FILM. I don't care how "good" the TV show is. Is is NOT a film. If any of you have taken a screenwriting class you would know that. A TV script and a Film script are NOT the same. I don't mind showing certain TV fare in theaters like awards shows or something, but to do it as Soderbergh is implying that this one TV show is as good as or better than a film, is absurd. One is art and one is made to sell toilet paper. (yes I know most films are cash grabs from the studios and are crap. That's not the point.) If I'm wrong (and I admit I have never seen breaking bad but I've seen every other good tv show, I loved BSG) just compare ANY television show with a film like Beasts of the Southern Wild or There will be blood or Capote and you'll understand what I mean. Remember, Film is "don't tell - show". TV is basically a filmed stage play. The ONLY TV movie in my opinion that CAN be considered a FILM is The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman which is still considered to be the best TV movie ever. I'm sorry but I blame the sad state of the artistry of film on the incursion of TV people like JJ Abrams and Damon Lindenof. This has been going on for years.

  • adam | May 31, 2013 6:40 PM

    your logic is unsound

  • George | May 31, 2013 1:38 PM

    Peggy, peggy, peggy, There is no doubt that you are a very intelligent person. Therefore, I can't say your opinion is wrong. Your opinion is one of the few things that is worse than wrong, uninformed. You pass judgement when you haven't observed the thing that you are judging. Breaking Bad is not shot like the typical television show. It is conceived and shot very cinematically. There is nothing that Breaking bad is trying to sell. The purpose of the show is to tell a story that is tremendously artistic and happens to be entertaining (two things that are not mutually exclusive). Granted, it does not reach the cinematic level of the films that you mentioned, however, Breaking bad breaks into territory that could be viewed as a hybrid of the two genres; a cinematic television show. Therefore, it would be at home in the movie theater. That being said, my opinion may be wrong, but at least I have seen Breaking Bad and offering an opinion that is informed on the subject. I can live with being wrong, but will never be satisfied with being uninformed.

  • Cobraverde | May 31, 2013 11:26 AMReply

    I used to say this all the time when Battlestar Galactica was on the air, why aren't we watching this every week in a theatre? I'd pay.

  • Adrienne | May 31, 2013 4:06 AMReply

    The experience sounds amazing...but I pay damn enough for cable, I don't need to add movie tickets onto that!
    That being said, if they were to do that, f*ck yes, I'd be first in line.

  • Steven | May 30, 2013 10:41 PMReply

    To the people complaining about the theater experience: Know the audience. What I mean is, that when you see Iron Man 3, expect talking and rude assholes all around you. You are seeing a blockbuster comic book based film. If you see Gone with the Wind you are not going to have a bunch of rowdy teens in the audience with you. I feel the people that would line up to see Breaking Bad are not the type of people the yell stupid comments at the screen or talk during a movie and I assure you will not get people just "popping in" to catch a movie having no idea what it is. You will get loyal fans that are there to watch and watch quietly and attentively. Besides, every city I ever lived in had an expensive cinema. By expensive I mean $15 ticket. People that pay $15 a ticket are not going to disrupt the film and those theaters do not play 20 minutes of adverts usually. Soderberghs idea is great!!! This show is as cinematic as it gets and over the last few years more TV shows have deserved to be in theaters than about 95% of the movies you've all paid good money for and forgot about ten minutes later. American TV has surpassed most mainstream films in more ways than one. It is sad but true.

  • Miles Ellison | May 30, 2013 9:35 PMReply

    No thanks. I saw The Hangover III in a theater. It started about 30 minutes after the advertised start time because there were about 20 minutes of ads for bad TV shows and commercials that I already see on television. I'd rather watch it at home. The popcorn and soda are cheaper. Now, if they axed the commercials, started the film on time, and charged a reasonable admission price, I might consider it.

  • JAB | May 30, 2013 9:24 PMReply

    Thanks but no thanks Mr. Soderbergh. You are a great director & are entitled to your opinion. Although I'm looking forward to the last episodes of BB as much as ANY movie this year this show plays spectacularly well on my 13" PC screen or my 32" HDTV. (I've usually watched BB 2 episodes at a time.)

  • LA2000 | May 30, 2013 9:02 PMReply

    Soderbergh is correct.

    The truth is, every single project is, in actuality, television. Whether you are talking "Iron Man 3" or "Pacific Rim" or "Mad Men", every single project has a much longer life and will find a much bigger audience on television screens than it will ever find in theaters. There are no exceptions to this. Theater viewing has essentially been reduced to a premium, advance viewing ancillary market for certain projects before they launch their actual long term earning potential and audience finding mission on the small screen. In short, if you are willing to shell out $12 for a ticket to "Man of Steel", the studios will show it to you before they show it to everyone else on dvd/television 90 days later.

    So why couldn't it work in the other direction? Why couldn't "television" which garners a potent amount of viewer interest find it's first (but ancillary) run in theaters?

    At this point, the only things that culturally separates a movie from television is running time and that is entirely arbitrary definition. A great story is a great story.

  • No | May 30, 2013 7:58 PMReply

    If this happens then Gilligan is the biggest bitch in the observable Universe, replacing Skylar.

  • marc | May 30, 2013 4:14 PMReply

    Too much of a chance of a few assholes talking and ruining it for me.

  • cinematic_high | May 30, 2013 2:58 PMReply

    I'm with this....I would be there opening any time of day.

  • TheoC | May 30, 2013 1:22 PMReply

    I've been yakking on about TV in cinemas for quite some time, I'd Kill to watch back to back episodes of Game of Thrones in theaters too.

  • Chaws | May 30, 2013 1:21 PMReply

    The Alamo Drafthouse already shows EVERY episode of Breaking Bad every week, as it airs for free. Too bad there aren't more of them popping up everywhere.

  • Adam | June 5, 2013 10:26 AM

    Unfortunately Chaws, the AMC network sent The Alamo Drafthouse a cease and desist letter after the last season of Breaking Bad ended. The Drafthouse also used to show The Walking Dead every week in the theater too and that ended in beginning of this year because the AMC wouldn't allow them to do the TV show screenings anymore. Not sure what the issue was, but since Alamo sells food and drinks, they probably objected to idea of someone profiting off their product. Nevertheless, watching last season's Breaking Bad season finale at the Drafthouse was one of the best movie theater experiences ever because it was packed with super fans and the crowd's reaction to the last seen was something that could never be duplicated in a living room.

  • Michael | May 30, 2013 1:06 PMReply

    Terrible idea. Yes yes it might be fun but I already pay for 9000 channels I don't want from Time Warner! Why would I pay even more to see the final 2. Until they stop charging us for shit we don't need, download is the way. Hey Soderbergh first fix cable Tv!

  • spassky | May 30, 2013 3:10 PM

    Yeah, I agree with bef... I don't think this proposition is aimed at a power-downloader like yourself (no offense).

  • BEF | May 30, 2013 1:15 PM

    Methinks that the ones that think this is a great idea are the ones who stream it on their computer.

  • Sean | May 30, 2013 12:55 PMReply

    Well, AMC can save this idea for their golden pony show Mad Men. It might work just as well for that show.

  • BB | May 30, 2013 12:45 PMReply

    Terrible idea!
    Why mess with something that been edited for the small screen
    Just don't mess with what work so well, don't change it for ratings, advertising and Soderbergh.

  • BEF | May 30, 2013 12:36 PMReply

    This would be great, but no way AMC is ditching their advertisers for the last two episodes ... But could they make more from a one week theatrical run, and then televise it after with commercials?

  • DG | May 30, 2013 12:26 PMReply

    I couldn't agree more, that would be a really fun event. Kinda makes me wonder if he knows something about how it's gonna end... I feel like the last season's gonna be bonkers. R.J Mitte said in an interview that after the first new one airs people are gonna be 'pretty much flipped out of their minds'. My guess is Skyler's gonna die early on. Don't know why, just a guess. I also think Hank will die before Walt does.

  • Tom | May 30, 2013 12:20 PMReply

    I'd pay evening prices for that.

  • Pakabola | May 30, 2013 2:37 PM

    No! Not all of us like the theatres and enjoy watching these episodes the same way we've watched the last hundred or so...ALONE!

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