In case you hadn’t heard, this Sunday night Breaking Bad ends its highly acclaimed run on AMC. And that means it’s time for the show’s stars to start looking for work. Bryan Cranston already has a burgeoning movie career, having recently appeared in Drive, Argo, and the Total Recall remake (his next major role will be in the latest Godzilla reboot set for release in 2014). Dean Norris, who plays Walter White’s DEA-agent brother-in-law Hank Schrader, starred in Under the Dome for CBS this summer and has a role in the awesome-looking Ridley Scott/Cormac McCarthy collaboration, The Counselor. And even recent Emmy-winner Anna Gunn — who portrays the character the internet loves to hate, Skyler White — has her next gig lined up, starring in a made-for-TV-movie called Rita which “follows an acerbic, outspoken private-school teacher who struggles to raise her three teenage children while dealing with the inane bureaucracy and overprotective parents at her school” (which, you know, sounds exactly like you’d expect the plot description for a made-for-TV-movie to sound).
That leaves Aaron Paul — who brilliantly portrays Jesse Pinkman, everyone’s favorite meth-cooking, drug-dealing, expletive-uttering sidekick with a heart of gold — as the last major player looking to capitalize on the show’s great mojo. Although he has a lead role lined up in the upcoming A Long Way Down based on the novel by Nick Hornby, his first major role post-Breaking Bad will come in next year’s Need for Speed.
Loosely based on the video game series of the same name, the Fast-and-the-Furious-ish flick casts Paul as the brooding hero looking for revenge while driving souped-up cars really, really fast. Judging from the trailer, it looks like Paul has his sights set on reinventing himself as an action star for the millennial generation. Whether or not he can pull it off is yet to be seen, but given the range he’s displayed on Breaking Bad and in the 2012 indie-flick Smashed, I’m willing to give Paul the chance to convince me he’s the next Bruce Willis.
Directed by Scott Waugh (who, according to his IMDB-page, is a former Hollywood stuntman making the transition into the director’s chair) and co-starring Michael Keaton, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Han Soto (Han Solo?! No, Han Soto.), and rapper-slash-actor Kid Cudi, Need for Speed hits theaters in March 2014.