After months of rumors, mindless speculation, and several instances of serious misdirection, Breaking Bad fans finally received the news they were waiting for: Vince Gilligan is returning to tell one more (???) tale with El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. Written and directed by Gilligan and set to premiere on Netflix on October 11, the film focuses on what happened to Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) after the credits rolled on "Felina" and asks an important question: will Jesse be a victim of the past, or can he carve out a new future for himself.
So more than a month should be enough time to do a little Paul-assigned "homework," in the form of a clip from Breaking Bad he posted on social media via Screenplayed. As Paul puts it, it's "a moment from Breaking Bad to slowly prepare you all for what's to come." From "One Minute" (season 3, episode 7), here's the moment when Jesse turns down Walter's (Bryan Cranston) offer – and Walter:
Here's a better look at Screenplayed's presentation of the scene:
The Netflix Television Event EL CAMINO: A BREAKING BAD MOVIE reunites fans with Jesse Pinkman (Emmy-winner Aaron Paul). In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future.
This gripping thriller is written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad. The movie is produced by Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein, Charles Newirth, Diane Mercer and Aaron Paul, in association with Sony Pictures Television.
A Brief History of the "Breaking Bad" Movie
While the trail of breadcrumbs began much earlier, we're going to pick up in early June 2019, the Tony Award-winning Cranston was quizzed for details on the project by Entertainment Tonight – and it turned out to be just as vague and entertainingly uninformative as he wanted it to be:
● On how Walter White could return, considering his current condition ("Well, rigor mortis has a way of allowing that to happen"): "Could be [in] a flashback, or a flash forward. I'm still dead, Walter White, I don't know what [could happen.]"
● With all of this talk about his appearing in it – it turns out Cranston hasn't even read the script yet… just like we have a really sweet bridge leading to Brooklyn that we an let you have on cheap:
"Yes, there appears to be a movie version of Breaking Bad. The new film will apparently focus on Jesse Pinkman's story. But I, honestly have not even read the script. So I couldn't tell you. 'I have not gotten the script. I had not read the script, so there's a question of whether we'd even see Walter White in this movie! Think about that one."
● While having not seen the script… Cranston says the project will ("would"?) bring a number of characters' storylines to their natural conclusion:
"It's a great story, and there's a lot of people who felt that they wanted to see some sort of completion to some of these storylines that were left open."
Cranston's on-screen partner in crime is right on board with him: speaking at the Sun Valley Film Festival in March 2019, the actor wouldn't confirm or deny production on the project – but he did address returning for a Breaking Bad project in broader terms and to Jesse Pinkman specifically at a Variety-sponsored event:
"Rumors are funny — I once heard a rumor that I was being cast as Han Solo. I haven't heard anything about the 'Breaking Bad' movie but if there is one and it comes together I'd love to be a part of it."
To punctuate the point further and to clear up any confusion anyone might still have about his position, Paul reiterated: "If it were to happen, yes, I would love to do it." As for the "why," it's pretty simple: "In case you haven't caught up on the TV series, Walter dies, so….it has to star Jesse."
And let's not forget about Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk, who seemingly confirmed the film three days before it was announced ("I find it hard to believe you don't know it was shot."); and then there was that Netflix screw-up that revealed the name.
Reports circulated that Gilligan was working on a two-hour movie based on the critically-acclaimed AMC series in November 2018. Earlier reports had El Camino filming under the fake/working title Greenbrier.
Though Cranston has already gone on record (on The Dan Patrick Show) to say he's open to a return, too:
"I would, I would. Absolutely. If Vince Gilligan asked me to do, sure, absolutely. He's a genius. It's a great story and there's a lot of people who felt that they wanted to see some kind of completion to some of these storylines that were left open and this idea, from what I'm told, gets into at least a couple of the characters who were not completed as far as their journey."
Greenbrier was described as "following the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom" – which fell directly in line with Jesse's escape from Albuquerque after the violently fatal events of series finale 'Felina.' The road to El Camino began in late 2018 in New Mexico, with The Albuquerque Journal first reporting on the project through documents filed through the New Mexico Film Office. For their part, the office would only confirm that a project with the title Greenbrier is slated to shoot in that area during the time period listed.
"We are happy to welcome 'Greenbrier' and Sony Studios to New Mexico. For years we've built up the film industry in New Mexico and strengthened our film incentives, now we're seeing success after success for the film industry in our state."
– Nick Maniatis, Director, New Mexico State Film Office