Peter Berg Recalls HANCOCK Beef With Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan

Peter Berg Recalls HANCOCK Beef With Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan

Director Peter Berg ("Battleship"), recalls the time in which he had beef with Vince Gilligan, because the screenwriter left during the production of Hancock to start work on his little television show, called Breaking Bad. You might have heard of it.

Director Peter Berg ("Friday Night Lights") was recently a guest on Bill Simmons' podcast, B.S. Report, and at around the 30-minute mark discusses his superhero film, Hancock, which starred Will Smith ("After Earth"), Charlize Theron ("Snow White and the Huntsman") and Jason Bateman ("Valerie/Valerie's Family/The Hogan Family"). During their discussion, Berg shared a story involving a dispute with, a then unknown, Vince Gilligan. A writer, who as you all know, went on to create one of the greatest television series ever, Breaking Bad. You can either listen to Berg's tale by clicking here or read the transcript below.

Transcribed by
Hancock was originally a script called Tonight He Comes, about a superhero alcoholic who could not make love because if he climaxed, he would kill a woman with the power of his climax. And it was really this kind of dark, twisted script. You know who wrote it? Vince Gilligan …

So I came on, and Will Smith is a perfectionist, and he will just drive writers into the ground. I say this with respect, but Will will do 10-12 hour meetings and by the time I got on, Vince had been heavily into the process with Will and his team. I came in and I didn’t really understand the history. Vince was going to go do another rewrite on the script. I didn’t realize this was probably rewrite 10, and I had heard that Vince had this TV show he wanted to go and do, and I was like, ‘Whatever. You have to finish this script. It was something about a chemistry teacher who gets cancer, and I was like, ‘Whatever, dude. You gotta finish the script.’

Vince finished the script, and I thought he was going to stay on and keep writing. But when he finished the script he was like, ‘OK. Alright, I’m out of here, and I’m going to go do this TV show.’ So I called Vince, and I was like, ‘What the hell? You can’t run out on us!’ I was at a Laker game, and I was talking kind of loud, and I was a bit intense. I was probably a little younger and more immature than I am today, and I was raging on at Vince, probably dropping a few F-Bombs at him.

There was a long pause, and he kind of accused me of being drunk. He’s like, ‘Pete, are you drunk.’ And I’m like, ‘No, I am not drunk. How can you leave us to go do your television show and your stupid idea. And I basically said fine, F-you, and I hung up.

And then I tried to get people to take my side, and I said, ‘Can you believe that Vince did this? And everyone was saying, ‘Vince Gilligan is the most decent human being we’ve ever met, Pete. Pete, we don’t understand what you’re talking about.’ I couldn’t get any support at all for my rage against Vince. Of course, it turned out that Vince knew what he was doing because it was Breaking Bad that he was going to do.

Will Smith (he Pursuit of Happyness) stars in this action-packed comedy as Hancock, a sarcastic, hard-living and misunderstood superhero who has fallen out of favor with the public. When Hancock grudgingly agrees to an extreme makeover from idealistic publicist Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman, Juno), his life and reputation rise from the ashes and all seems right again--until he meets a woman (2003 Academy Award® winner Charlize Theron, Best Actress, Monster) with similar powers to his and the key to his secret past.
Posted By:
Member Since 7/12/2010
Filed Under "Hancock" 9/26/2013 Source: uproxx
DISCLAIMER: is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
1 2
SuperCat - 9/26/2013, 8:11 AM
This movie sucked.
JoeMomma29 - 9/26/2013, 8:14 AM
@ Supercat

I thought it was good.
TheWolverine08 - 9/26/2013, 8:14 AM
I liked Hancock.
DrDoom - 9/26/2013, 8:14 AM
'Went on to create one of the greatest television series' ever, Breaking Bad'

Nice impartiality there
TheWolverine08 - 9/26/2013, 8:14 AM
Hancock is a badass black Superman!
GUNSMITH - 9/26/2013, 8:14 AM
RyGoR - 9/26/2013, 8:16 AM
Sooooo Peter Berg is an assface..? That's pretty much what I gathered from
RyGoR - 9/26/2013, 8:18 AM
Seriously who does an interview and talks about themselves like that......
Supes17 - 9/26/2013, 8:20 AM
Hancock- almost forgotten
Breaking Bad- well... You know :p
Tevii - 9/26/2013, 8:25 AM
I like Peter Berg, I do, but Hancock doesnt compare as a movie to Breaking Bad as a TV series. Im glad he left. Breaking Bad is AMAZING, Hancock was okay at best.

But I find this funny "So I came on, and Will Smith is a perfectionist, and he will just drive writers into the ground."

Guess he didnt have that approach for After Earth... but I respect his drive, and how he looks over his career
SuperCat - 9/26/2013, 8:26 AM

Wasn't happy with the "Dexter" finale either.
nordberg - 9/26/2013, 8:30 AM
I watched about 5 minutes of After Earth on Tuesday and my eyes only stopped bleeding about 10 minutes ago. Wow, what a steaming pile of monkey shit.
ShadowOfTheWeb - 9/26/2013, 8:31 AM
Awesome premise poorly executed
RyGoR - 9/26/2013, 8:32 AM
@nail that's true didn't think about it like that perhaps he thought he was on candid camera ;) lolz jk
TheDpool - 9/26/2013, 8:34 AM
You either got it and liked it or you just didn't the fact that its essentially a superhero movie based on a guy who really doesn't care is what makes it a good movie and it kinda showed how having powers and not thinking of the consequences of using them when under the influence and I liked that concept.

I hoped there would be a sequel but I hoped there would be a sequel to Unbreakable.
SuperSomething616 - 9/26/2013, 8:41 AM
So basically you just admitted that you were being an insufferable prick Mr. Berg and you f-bombed the creator and took the proverbial pi$$ out of the greatest TV show ever created!!!

Massive chufty badge for you I think...guess you feel like a grade A nob now dont you!!!
FlyingSeel - 9/26/2013, 8:42 AM
LOL @ Will Smith being a perfectionist. MIB 2&3, After Earth, Hancock, I Am Legend...I mean the list of shitty movies he's been in goes on. He's a swag hound, but perfectionist? I guess we have different definitions of the word.
Bearjew - 9/26/2013, 8:42 AM
Sounds like it could've been awesome before Will [frick]ed it up
Mysterion - 9/26/2013, 8:44 AM
the last few seasons of Dexter was horse shit...the finale was the cherry on top of horse shit sundae. The last 8 episodes of BrBa has been pretty much the best television in history (especially the last 3 episodes).
Im ready for this Sunday...from what the whole cast of the show been will not dissapoint.
Philvis - 9/26/2013, 8:47 AM
I enjoyed Hancock. I didn't think it was a masterpiece, but was entertaining enough. My favorite scene is during the credits.
MrChuff - 9/26/2013, 8:48 AM
I tried watching After Earth two nights ago.
After spending the first 5mins wincing and trying to work out what the fvck was up with Little Smith's voice I gave up and switched it off.
Was he trying to do an accent?
Does he have a cleft pallet?
I could be bothered to watch enough to find out.....
HulkbusterNYC - 9/26/2013, 8:49 AM
@nordberg i sat through that whole movie hoping it would get better.. It didnt.. It got worse..
HulkbusterNYC - 9/26/2013, 8:50 AM
After Earth & Hancock were both great ideas but poorly executed
duncboy - 9/26/2013, 8:54 AM
This movie started great and went to shit pretty damn quick.
nordberg - 9/26/2013, 8:57 AM

Re: Jayden's voice inflection, yeah what the f was up with that?! It seemed that the guy who reprimanded him at the beginning of the film was doing it too.

I can only guess that it was some kind of bizarre creative choice, probably coming from M. Night who seems to like to direct his actors to talk in a weird cadence. Case in point: Unbreakable. It's a good movie but why does every single person apart from Samuel L. talk like their dog just died?
zippiesdrainage - 9/26/2013, 8:57 AM
Peter Berg is an a$$hole and nobody likes working with him, in an interview for Battleship he talked down to the interviewer for not joining the army. Hope his career dries up and dies.
MrChuff - 9/26/2013, 9:01 AM
nordberg - 9/26/2013, 9:03 AM
siggisuperman - 9/26/2013, 9:08 AM
I like it when people are honest about the fact that they have acted like dicks at some point. Everyone has.
OnLeatherWings - 9/26/2013, 9:16 AM
Is that why the second half the movie sacked so bad
Cookiedodger - 9/26/2013, 10:06 AM
"Will Smith is a perfectionist, and he will just drive writers into the ground."
That explains the problem with Hancock right there. The overpaid, over ego-ed Actors messing with good writing. Vince knows how to pen a script and tell a story. I bet the movie the way he wrote it was way better than what we saw on screen.
RexDartEskimoSpy - 9/26/2013, 10:28 AM
There was a good movie in Hancock somewhere but I think Gilligan took it with him when he left. The final film was utter garbage. Just one in a long line of films with big potential ruined by Will Smith.

By the way, I wouldn't consider Vince Gilligan as "then unknown." I knew him as the writer of some fantastic X-Files episodes, icluding "Drive," which featured none other than Bryan Cranston. ("The dad from Malcom In The Middle?" Hey, he's actually pretty good...") In fact, I had no interest in Breaking Bad until I heard he created it.
subzero1077 - 9/26/2013, 10:45 AM
@RexDartEskimoSpy - That episode is one of my favs. Also Dreamland I & II, Bad Blood, Je Souhaite, Pusher. Vince Gilligan is a damn good writer.
typicalfanboy - 9/26/2013, 11:00 AM
Will smith helped create Heisenberg. Thank you will.
3DWitchHunt - 9/26/2013, 11:06 AM
Hancock sucked when you look at the overall movie
Glad Vince moved on to better things
PanochaLibre - 9/26/2013, 12:11 PM
I thought it was great. Don't know if it would hold up.
supermarioworldE - 9/26/2013, 12:28 PM
Hancock had potential, but was ultimately a letdown.

I don't think the darker tone would've helped though.
ICStoopedPeople - 9/26/2013, 1:16 PM
Hancock was decent. Not great. Decent.

Hopefully the sequel will provide us with a worthy adversary.
mctrinket - 9/26/2013, 1:27 PM
Vince Gilligan made the right choice. And then some.
Cyclops84 - 9/26/2013, 2:13 PM
Dude the series finale of Dexter was quite possibly the worst series finale of any series. I hadn't felt this disappointed since the series finale of The Sopranos.
1 2

Please log in to post comments.

Don't have an account?
Please Register.