What International Breaking Bad Remake Should Happen Next?

By Ryan Sandoval

Jun 18, 2014


Meet Walter Blanco, the main character of Spanish-language Breaking Bad remake Metastasis.

It seems like forever ago that Breaking Bad ended, and Walter White concluded one of the best series of all time by (spoiler redacted), leaving the routinely tortured Jesse Pinkman to finally (spoiler redacted). For those of us who fiend after all things Breaking Bad like a desert junkie jonesing for a fix of the ABQ, the only thing we got to look forward to stateside is the Better Call Saul spin-off—and that still feels like it's eons away (it's scheduled to debut in November). 

Last week, Univision premiered the Spanish-language Breaking Bad remake Metastasis, a very faithful adaptation that's set in Colombia and follows the comings and goings of one Walter Blanco, played by Diego Trujillo. Robert Urbina portrays the Jesse Pinkman of Colombia, Jose Miguel Rosas. The details are largely the same, save for a few cultural differences like the RV being swapped for a school bus, and Saul hosting a late-night legal talk show as opposed to starring in the Southwest's worst commercials. 

Like the valuable formula at the center of Blue Sky, though, this sort of international repackaging is sure to be a hit wherever it travels. Since the World Cup has already got us thinking about all the different countries in the world, let's take a look at what a handful of those other foreign iterations of the AMC drama might look like…


ENGLAND


The States have been remaking British shows for ages, so it’s time to give something back to our friends across the pond. Set in the mean streets of Manchester, Knackered would follow cancer-stricken secondary school teacher Walter White III (Rowan Atkinson, Black Adder) as he navigates the limits of the National Health Service, forcing him to turn to a life of British crime. Crystal meth isn’t as popular in the U.K., so White and his cohort Jesse Nigel Pinkmanshire (Andrew Garfield, Sugar Riding) will have to set their sights on "mephedrone" instead. Everything else is pretty much the same, except there's way more use of the word "cuppa." Also since Britain has no native tortoises, Tortuga's head bomb will be transported via "dormouse." Other than that, though, sounds bloody brilliant, yeah?


INDIA


India boasts the third largest television industry in the WORLD, with that number sure to rise once the U.S. burns all up into radioactive ashes. Luckily those of us who survive the fallout and start pirating cable from India will have Pahad tut Padna (which roughly translates to "To Get into Big Trouble") to carry the torch. This rendition features repressed family man Wajid Safeda (Ajay Devgan) capering about the city of Jamshedpur with young Jaabir Pinkman (Karan Wahi, who audiences might know as Dr. Armaan Mallik from the medical soap Dill Mill Gayye). Together, the unlikely duo fends off the advances of the ruthless owner of a tandoori chicken restaurant chain, among other tense adventures with the even more ruthless cartels of Pakistan. And for fans of standup comedy, look out for a cameo by Kapil Sharma as the fast-talking ambulance-chasing lawyer, Saul Gupta.  


GHANA


Ghana cable provider DStv recently answered the cries of the people this past fall, by airing Breaking Bad's final episodes alongside American scheduling. Certainly the proud nation of Ghana could go a step further and cook up its own “Ghollywood” version of the Southwestern saga. Enter Ghanaian adaptation "Wa Bo Dam"—which in Twi means “You’ve Gone Mad.” This import would follow local teacher Walter Wayo (John Dumelo, Baby Thief) and Jesse Poku (Agya Koo, star of such films as Obaatanpa, Black Star, and Ma Trick Wo) as they take the drug trade of Kumasi by storm—proving true the famous Ashanti proverb, that “Only when you have crossed the river, can you say the crocodile has a lump on his snout.”


NORTH KOREA


The Democratic Republic of North Korea could certainly relate to the theme of corruptive power, and who better to play the main role than admitted Breaking Bad superfan, Supreme Leader/grandscale psychopath Kim Jong-un? Of course, as is the case with any overseas adaptation, a few minor changes will have to be made in order to account for cultural differences. For one, the Supreme Leader cannot be portrayed in such a tragic light, and so the story of "Walter Yoon" will be one of a chemistry teacher who easily defeats cancer—a disease that weak and puny Westerners succumb to daily—in the opening seconds of the series. From there, Yoon teams up with a devout and enlightened member of the Socialist Youth League named Jesse Pak (also played by Kim Jong-un), as the unlikely duo protects their nation from the pig poison of capitalist outsiders, all from the INSIDE of a superior Pyeounghwa Samchunri minivan!


OUTER SPACE

While technically not a “country,” the galaxy plays host to all manner of potential extraterrestrial life forms. Who knows which ones are intercepting our broadcasts? Who knows which ones are Bryan Cranston fans? Recently, AMC received a coded message from the furthest reaches of the cosmos complimenting the network on its expertly crafted saga of a family man who became a drug kingpin. Even crazier, the message went on to suggest an “out of this world” take on the tale of Heisenberg. Set in the Alpha Centauri star system, Quarxing Zilnon would follow mild-mannered chemistry teacher Ogpleem White (played by some kind of organism known as a “Bawa-Doon”) who must cook space-meth to battle mounting medical bills and fend off investigations by his brother-in-law and DEA Agent, Hank Schrader (apparently portrayed by a highly advanced “Dean Norrisbot”). Hmm, we'll wait for the DVDs on this one.


In any case, here’s a trailer for Metastasis, in case you missed it:



Your turn: What international Breaking Bad remakes could see happening?


  • Comments (47)
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  • ben45tpy Jun 19, 2014

    This kind of article lives or dies in the attention to detail and the imagination of its author. And...you nailed it. Great job Ryan I think this is the best hypothetical crazy versions of something article this site has ever done.

  • MarkPeters Jun 19, 2014

    What ever happened to dubbing?

  • MarkPeters Jun 19, 2014



  • MarkPeters Jun 19, 2014

  • MarkPeters Jun 19, 2014

  • englishboy Jun 19, 2014

    How about Breaking Bad...South Africa...that would be interesting. You could set it in a township or in an Afrikaans community. Even better would be Breaking Bad- Jamaica style where everyone would be speaking in patois and Winston White takes on apprentice Barrington a talented but failed singer from the local dancehall as the 2 try to bust their way outta Trenchtown,while staying one step ahead of the local Kingpin.

  • TimSpot Jun 18, 2014

    This is my favorite post ever on TV.com.

  • edshrinker Jun 18, 2014

    I want @Rolamb to tell us what the Dutch would do.

    I hate the Dutch.

  • Rolamb Jun 18, 2014

    Nothing, we already have to many reality shows.

    BTW, I should never have told you I'm Dutch.....

  • ben45tpy Jun 19, 2014

    I stayed up till 4:30 am to watch Australia vs Netherlands. WHHHHYYYYYYYY????????

  • mad-pac Jun 19, 2014

    The Internet has an article in Portuguese saying the Herald Sun, Australian newspaper, wrote an actual nice article about the city of Porto Alegre, my town actually, where Australia played against Holland. They said Australians would feel at home here for our taste for beer and meat, and that the city is great for long walks.

    It's rare that the International Press should give a positive spin on an article about Brazil. I hear foreign press is in search of burned buses and massive strikes, otherwise they don't get very interested in divulging.

    I hope this whole (expensive) thing called World Cup extends our ties with Australia and at least improves our tourism industry.

  • ben45tpy Jun 19, 2014

    That's great to hear, surely the Cup and that other thing in a coup of years can only mean great things for Brazil.

  • Rolamb Jun 19, 2014

    The broadcasts we get over here around the games are pretty positive too. There are thousands and thousands of Dutch fans in the cities, even without tickets and everything goes smoothly.

  • mad-pac Jun 19, 2014

    Are you kidding? It was the best played game so far. Both teams deserve congratulations!

  • ben45tpy Jun 19, 2014

    We played so well that we were the first team knocked out of the Cup.

  • Rolamb Jun 19, 2014

    For their effort in the second half, surely. But it was at least very poor from our side in the first half. That referee did not help...

    We have one player still in the hospital after that 'clash' with the Australian player. He has a concussion.

  • Rolamb Jun 19, 2014

    Sorry. At least I hope you had a few good beers with it.

  • ben45tpy Jun 19, 2014

    Thanks, I may have partaken of a beer or two

  • mad-pac Jun 19, 2014

    There's no easy game or dead team in the World Cup, right, Robben? I mean, Rolamb? The Australians were almost as annoying as the Mexicans.

  • mad-pac Jun 19, 2014

    Too late. The Dutch cat is out of the bag...

  • edshrinker Jun 18, 2014

    LOL

    Been waiting to use this line for years. Thank you for your Dutchness.

  • Rolamb Jun 18, 2014

    Oh my, sorry to tell you, you were not the first, it has been used in many posts over the last months to make fun of me.

  • Rolamb Jun 20, 2014

    @edshrinker You're right. Probably those who know I'm Dutch will have used it to tease me, not make fun of me. I chose the word to swift. One of the many times you can see I'm not native English.

  • edshrinker Jun 18, 2014

    That's OK. Because I have never done it to make fun of you. I have no cause to make fun of you. The French? Of course. But not you.

    I just find the line hilarious.

  • Baiken Jun 18, 2014

    On my wishlist :

    FROM THE FRENCH DIRECTOR Jacques Audiard...

    FROM THE JAPANESE DIRECTOR Takashi Miike

    FROM THE KOREAN DIRECTOR Chan-wook Park

    FROM THE ENGLISH DIRECTOR Guy Ritchie

  • Baiken Jun 18, 2014

    The Democratic Republic of North Korea

    fucking idiot ...


  • Garyness Jun 18, 2014

    Was that a trailer or a montage of spoilers?

  • mad-pac Jun 19, 2014

    Eactly. Once you've seen the original and the traIler, there's nothing else to do really. Except wait for the Hispano-American version of Dexter, perhaps.

  • JackSaat Jun 18, 2014

    NOP! Stop remaking shows and movies and start come up with brand new ideas! Really.....

  • XY Jun 18, 2014

    REMEMBER MY NAME he said.
    And then along comes .... "Jaisenber"?

    Blasphemy.

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