Vince Gilligan on 'Breaking Bad's' 'The Searchers' Parallels: 'We Stole From the Best' (Video)
Vince Gilligan continued his publicity blitz Monday, just one day after Breaking Bad came to its epic conclusion, stopping by The Colbert Report in New York City.
After exchanging congratulations for their respective Emmy wins, Stephen Colbert and Gilligan launched into a detailed conversation about the evolution -- and demise -- of Walter White. Asked why he decided to kill off Bryan Cranston's character ("Why not keep him going at least in The Walking Dead," Colbert suggested), Gilligan laughed and said that he was simply following through on the show's initial promise.
"It seemed like the implicit promise in the show from the first episode," said Gilligan. "In the first episode, he is told he has about two years to live. It feels as if we should adhere to our promise that we explicitly made to our audience."
Gilligan also addressed the parallels between the episode, titled "Felina" in reference to Marty Robbins' song "El Paso," and the 1956 Western The Searchers.
"John Wayne is chasing after Natalie Wood's character; she's been taken by the Comanches, and he keeps saying, 'When I find her, I'm gonna kill her.' When he finds her, he sweeps her up and says, 'Let's go home,'" Gilligan said, comparing the film's resolution to that of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman's (Aaron Paul). Though Walt intends to kill Jesse in the episode's final moments, he winds up saving his former partner and allowing him to leave the Aryan prison freely.
"We stole from the best," Gilligan confessed.
Less than 24 hours earlier, Gilligan had been in attendance at the series finale celebration at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery before hopping on a plane to the East Coast. "I partied till about midnight," he told Colbert, adding, "I'd fly 10,000 miles for you, Stephen."
Up next for Gilligan is Battle Creek, a Michigan-set detective drama ordered by CBS for a series production for the 2014-15 season. He is also hard at work on a Breaking Bad spinoff based on Bob Odenkirk's character, tentatively titled Better Call Saul.
He admitted Monday, however, that he'll have to enter a "12-step recovery program" now that Breaking Bad is over. "The show is my blue meth," he joked.