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An Homage to 'Breaking Bad' and ABQ’s Unstoppable Rise in Film

Statue of 'Breaking Bad’s' Walt and Jesse celebrates economic impact and many film careers started by one of the most popular shows of all time

July 29, 2022

ALBUQUERQUE - Today, the City of Albuquerque and Sony Pictures unveiled a larger-than-life bronze statue of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in their iconic roles as the Breaking Bad duo Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Mayor Keller was joined by actors Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Series Creator Vince Gilligan as well as fans and cast and crew of the series. Originally commissioned by Sony in 2019 to show its appreciation for the role Albuquerque played in this series, the statue donated by Sony Pictures will serve as permanent reminder of the many film careers started by the local production and an homage to one of the most popular TV shows of all time.

“Like many in our city, Breaking Bad is where I started my film career—it’s a show that’s created countless opportunities for our film workers and small businesses,” said Cyndy McCrossen, film liaison for the Albuquerque Film Office. “We look forward to fans coming to pay homage to the iconic show, but to also understanding the impact that this production has had in establishing Albuquerque as a top film destination.”

The Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul/El Camino franchise has aired for over 15 years employing over 200 locals per episode and spent approximately $192 million in Albuquerque. The franchise has won close to 200 awards and was nominated for over 400 others. Breaking Bad was estimated to have over 10 million viewers, smashing all previous records for a cable series.

Actors Cranston and Paul continue to give back to Albuquerque and will be hosting a silent auction benefitting New Mexico Veterans Integration Centers and Children’s Cancer Fund of New Mexico at the Isotopes Game on July 30th. For more information, visit https://atmilb.com/3O8Ca12.

“The cast and crew of Breaking Bad changed American television and have played an unmistakable role in our city’s meteoric rise in the film industry, bringing hundreds of millions into our economy,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “While the characters are just fictional, the show’s positive impact in Albuquerque is very real.”

The statue was commissioned by Sony Pictures, designed by Gilligan and sculpted by artist Trevor Grove. Casting and foundry work was completed by Burbank-based company, American Fine Arts Foundry.

Albuquerque has ranked as the #1 city for filmmakers to live and work for four years in a row by MovieMaker Magazine. It is the leading destination outside of LA and NYC, becoming “America’s Third Coast” for film and TV.