Bryan Cranston is 'thrilled at the prospect' of a Malcolm in the Middle reunion
Bryan Cranston briefly returns to the world of Breaking Bad this Sunday by starring with Aaron Paul in a PopCorners Super Bowl commercial that features Walt and Jesse. But there's another beloved show from his past that the Emmy-accumulating actor is also keen on revisiting.
Yes, that would be Malcolm in the Middle, the early-aughts comedy about a boy genius (Frankie Muniz) and his weird family that included Cranston as devoted husband/cowardly patriarch Hal Wilkerson. Hal served as the goofy yang to the stern yin of wife Lois (Jane Kaczmarek), and he knew his way around electronics and a pair of roller skates while displaying a talent for race-walking and forgetting birthdays. In the past, Cranston has expressed interest in revisiting the Wilkersons, and last fall, deep into this era of reboots, revivals, and remakes, Muniz said that Cranston was "really into the idea" of a revival and that he himself was "down 100 percent," prompting creator Linwood Boomer to confirm to EW, "We're talking about it." A few months later, Cranston told E! News that "there was some talk about the possibility of doing, like, a reunion movie of Malcolm in the Middle," and that it would be "fun to do."
Last week, while speaking with EW about his Breaking Bad Super Bowl commercial, Cranston was also asked to elaborate on the likelihood of a Wilkerson reunion. "I love that show," he begins. "To me, it was the comedic flip side to Breaking Bad because of the quality of the writing. Linwood Boomer is really considering it. And he said — just like [Breaking Bad creator] Vince Gilligan would say — if there was a great idea that everybody got excited about, he would really consider doing it. And we're all onboard. All the actors said, "Well, we'd love to see each other again, for those very same reasons. But I, too, want it to be a good reason. I don't need a job. I don't want to just be busy. But I love to work, and I would love to reunite with that cast and that crew, and tell those stories in that character again. To be able to slip into Hal again, at this age, all those years ago, [would be] phenomenal.... I'm thrilled at the prospect of it."
Everett Collection Bryan Cranston and Jane Kaczmarek on 'Malcolm in the Middle.'
Debuting on Fox in 2000, Malcolm helped to revitalize the sitcom genre (and its struggling network) with its peppy, off-beat single-camera style. Over its seven-season, 151-episode run, the series claimed seven Emmys, with Cranston nabbing three Emmy nominations as Hal. (He would proceed to bring to life an even more famous — if much more nefarious — TV dad as chemistry teacher-turned-meth lord Walter White on Breaking Bad, winning four acting Emmys on that dark journey.)
As the years ticked by, Cranston — just like Malcolm fans — has pondered the whereabouts and whatabouts of the Wilkerson family (whose other members were played by Christopher Masterson, Justin Berfield, and Erik Per Sullivan). "We started Malcolm in the Middle 23 years ago," notes Cranston, who currently headlines the Showtime drama Your Honor. "So I'm kind of curious: Where are those characters now? What are they doing? How have their lives changed or stayed the same?"
But again, he reminds, that curiosity should only be satisfied if it is wrapped in quality. "If [Linwood] comes up with something really clever, he'll be the first to know," he explains. "Or he'll say, 'No, we just couldn't come up with something that we really got excited about.' And then I'll just say, 'Awww, too bad. Okay. I get it.' I'd rather that be the case than to do something lame and just be like, "Oh, this is kind of a stupid story, but, you know…" So I know that that won't happen. It will be something exciting — or nothing."
Fans — and beekeepers — are standing by.
Everett Collection 'Malcolm in the Middle' stars Erik Per Sullivan, Frankie Muniz, Justin Berfield, Christopher Masterson, Jane Kaczmarek, and Bryan Cranston.
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