Breaking Bad star Giancarlo Esposito is applying a core tenet of his old show’s philosophy — specifically the bit about “no half measures” — to his hunt for a role in a Marvel movie. And in this case, a “half measure” would be taking a part in a Marvel TV show. Esposito, who played the terrifyingly mild-mannered meth kingpin Gus Fring, told ComicBook.com in a recent interview that he turned down a role in one of the Marvel TV shows for fear it would preclude a later movie appearance.
“They came to me with something for their television department, then I realized if I did that, I’d never be able to have that same character be in that film department,” Esposito told the site. “Once you’re in a Marvel character in the television version, you have to stay in the particular character. They can’t carry that over to film.”
It’s a little unclear from Esposito’s wording whether all this was his own supposition or something execs from Marvel specifically told him. So far, character crossovers between Marvel movies and TV shows have all flowed in one direction, with the likes of Agent Coulson, Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and Sif making TV appearances after their movie debuts but never the other way around. Alfre Woodard was cast in a small role in Captain America: Civil War after she signed onto Luke Cage, but Marvel Studios wasn’t initially aware of her TV role when it cast her in the movie.
All of which means Esposito is likely right – that the best way to get a juicy role in a Marvel movie requires staying away from Marvel’s TV output. Whether that’s because there are actual issues between the different Marvel subdivisions over who controls the characters in a crossover, as Civil War co-director Anthony Russo suggested in an interview last December, or it’s because Marvel doesn’t want the hassle of reintroducing a character from a relatively little-watched TV show to a blockbuster movie audience, the former Gus Fring just isn’t interested in ABC or Netflix’s half measures.