Even though Breaking Bad has been over for almost seven years, the fan theories continue. One of the most popular ones, which has existed for much of the entirety of the series' run, is a connection between it and Bryan Cranston's other hugely popular series, Malcolm in the Middle. The theory seemingly persists but Cranston has now weighed in with an answer that puts it to bed for good. While appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the host asked the Emmy winner about the theory, noting the high points of it: Walter White didn't die in the finale, he survived, got a new identity and became Hal from Malcom in the Middle.
"I'm not a liberty to disclose that kind of information without security clearances," Cranston replied, his tongue firmly in his cheek. "I think it's fun, but it's... it's fun, I don't know. No, Walter White is definitely dead. He's dead, he's dead, he's dead."
This theory was given a subtle wink by the creators of Breaking Bad since his Malcolm in the Middle co-star Jane Kaczmarek appeared in an "alternate ending" on one of the season's home media releases. In that scene, Cranston as Hal woke up having "dreamed" most of the events of Breaking Bad.
Despite Cranston's insistence that Walter is dead, and in the context of Breaking Bad he certainly is as last year's El Camino confirmed, there's a chance we could see the character once again. The prequel series Better Call Saul is headed into its sixth and final season and since that series began there has been talks about an appearance by Walter White (since the show takes place before he became New Mexico's biggest drug kingpin). In a recent interview he teased that possibility once again.
"I would be in it if Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, who are co-executive producers on it, wanted me to be in it. I would do it in a second," Cranston told Collider while promoting his new Disney+ movie The One and Only Ivan. "But it hasn't happened yet, I can tell you, and we'll see. I don't know. There's one more season to go and we'll see what happens!"
Gould recently teased more character returns for the show's final season, which is expected to air in 2021. It's unclear at this point if one of them will be Walter or not.
The good news for fans of Malcom in the Middle a virtual reunion took place last weekend. The cast of Malcolm celebrating the 20th anniversary of its premiere date by doing a live reading of the pilot script on Zoom with proceeds raised by the event set to benefit Healing California.