Best known for his portrayal of the bitch-sayin’, science-behind-magnets-lovin’ Jesse Pinkman on TV’s Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul is an actor who will soon find himself standing at a career crossroads. When Breaking Bad began back in 2008, Paul entered the series as a relative unknown, having only random TV roles and bit parts in films playing characters with names like “stoner” or “wasted guy” under his belt. But, as the series comes to its end next year, Paul leaves it a highly-regarded, Emmy-winning, in-demand actor. So which direction is he planning on taking his career?
Sometimes its hard for an actor who becomes famous in television to transition into a film career, no matter how high-profile their work on the boob tube was, and if Paul’s latest career choice is any indication, he might be having a tougher time getting good scripts in the mail than one might imagine. According to a report from Inside Movies, Paul has just signed on to star in the upcoming video game adaptation Need For Speed. That’s right, coming off a stint on what’s probably the best show on television, Aaron Paul is going to take on the risky proposition of making a video game movie.
Of course, just because there really haven’t been any good video game movies to date doesn’t mean that Need For Speed will necessarily be bad. Sure, it’s entire premise seems to be cars racing, which isn’t exactly the richest narrative foundation to set a film on, but it also leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Maybe there’s something in this script that’s really caught Paul’s eye?
Well, if that’s what we’re going to tell ourselves, then it’s a pretty blind hope we’re holding onto, as the video game was adapted for the screen by first time film writer (and co-producer) George Gatins, and the film is all set to be directed by Scott Waugh, who was responsible for this year’s impossibly bad Navy SEAL drama Act of Valor; so we don’t have any creative track record to be excited by.
So far this is looking like a highly questionable career move, the kind of dumb decision that Jesse Pinkman is always making to put Walter White in a tight spot. Paul’s indie drama Smashed just got a limited release this weekend though, and his performance there has been garnering pretty decent reviews, so maybe as more casting people see what he can do in a big screen romance he’ll start getting more interesting scripts coming his way. You know, unless Need For Speed turns out to actually be good. In which case, good on him.