Even before the show began, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan knew there was no one more perfect than Bryan Cranston to portray Walter White, but both Sony, who owns the show, and network AMC were skeptical about casting the actor because of his Malcolm in the Middle past, and because Walt was envisioned as closer to 40 years old rather than 50 years old. Amongst the very serious suggestions for an alternative casting: John Cusack. Fortunately, he passed. Matthew Broderick was then offered the role, but he passed as well. In the end, Gilligan got his way, and Cranston was offered the lead role.