Everything We Know About Netflix's Breaking Bad Movie, El Camino
On October 11, Netflix will debut El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. It's a sequel to the television series Breaking Bad, the prestige AMC masterpiece that won countless awards and helped popularized binge-watching. A decade after the show debuted, Breaking Bad still enjoys a sterling reputation.
A multi-season television show is akin to an Olympic vault. You can have excellent form. You can do all the tricky flips and twists in the air. But if you stumble or fall on the landing? That's all the audience is going to remember. And Breaking Bad absolutely stuck the landing in Season 5.The final half of the season tied up loose ends and was characterized by an uncommon meticulousness and attention to detail. The finale was heralded as one of the best in television history.
So the prospect of El Camino might be worrying for fans. By re-opening the series' story, those involved they risk undoing the sense of closure fans once had. So, hopefully, El Camino is good and insightful enough that the risk is worth it.
Here is everything we know about El Camino: A Breaking Bad Story.
El Camino's release date
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is a feature-length movie set in the same universe as the AMC television series Breaking Bad. It will debut on Netflix on October 11 at 3 am EST / 12 am PST.
It will also screen in 68 cities in theaters from October 11 to October 13 as a limited, theatrical special event. To buy tickets and find the closest theater,you can visit the movie's official website.
Lastly, the movie will also broadcast on AMC in early 2020, at a still-unspecified date.
The Getaway Car
"El Camino" refers to the car that Jesse used to drive away from the white supremacist compound in the series finale. It is a 1978 Chevrolet El Camino that belonged to Todd, the quietly psychotic nephew of gang leader Uncle Jack.
Breaking Bad was notorious for self-referencing episode titles. Most notably in Season 2, four episodes titles spelled out the season finale's twist: Seven Thirty-Seven Down Over ABQ.
The Main Players
Actor Aaron Paul returns in his Emmy-winning role as Jesse Pinkman. Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan returns as writer and director. Skip Macdonald, the movie's editor, also edited 29 episodes of Breaking Bad (including fan favorites "Ozymandias" and "Felina") and 18 episodes of Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul. El Camino's cinematography is done by Marshall Adams, who also did cinematography for Better Call Saul, and was Director of Photography for one episode of Breaking Bad.
There's no need to fix what isn't broken. And everyone's encore involvement is an excellent sign that Jesse's new story is worth telling.
It's an Epilogue
In the trailer for the movie, we see a post-Breaking Bad Jesse washing up after his involuntary incarceration. We see the physical scars on his back and face as a result of Uncle Jack's torture. Based on the various grimaces that Jesse gives, it seems that he has some psychological scars as well.
Beyond that, we don't know too much. We see a photo of Andrea (who was killed by Todd) and her son Brock, who were Jesse's last hope at having a normal, loving family. But most of the other scenes in the trailer are deliberately ambiguous. Jesse appears to be stalking or pursuing someone, but we can't see who.
Here is the plot synopsis that Netflix has released about this "gripping thriller:"
"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."
Clearly, Gilligan wants the audience to go into this movie with as few preconceptions as possible. We're unlikely to get much more plot than what we already have before October 11.
The Return of Badger and Skinny Pete
Badger and Skinny Pete, the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of Breaking Bad's Shakespearean epic, are back. In the trailer, it seems that after Jesse escapes, the first person he visits is Skinny Pete. We later see Badger as well; both of Jesse's friends are visibly concerned about their friend's well-being. This also adds some context to the movie's teaser trailer, where we see that law enforcement is interrogating Pete on Jesse's whereabouts. Pete, good friend that he is, doesn't give them anything.
Beware of an Old Man in a Young Man's Game
While on the red carpet at this year's Emmys, Jonathan Banks confirmed that he will be reprising his role as Mike Ehrmantraut, the fan-beloved hitman and all-around fixer from the original series. Since Mike died in Season 5, he's likely to appear in some sort of flashback or dream sequence.
More Familiar Faces
According to a recent feature in the Hollywood Reporter, the new show will feature over 10 characters from the original show. We already know four characters: Jesse himself, Skinny Pete, Badger, and Mike. Who are some other good candidates? Maybe Jesse's parents? Maybe Brock, who's still alive and Jesse views as family (although the de-aging might be tricky). And Walter White? Since Mike is returning, it's possible.
A Key Scene
When Aaron Paul posted on Twitter to celebrate the movie, he linked to a scene from Breaking Bad, which he said is important viewing before watching El Camino.
It's from the Season 3 episode "One Minute," where Jesse is in the hospital after being beat up by Hank. Walter offers Jesse a 50/50 partnership in cooking meth for Gus. Jesse tearfully refuses, and he points out that on the whole, he's lost more than he's won ever since teaming up with Walt. And yet, the audience sees that Jesse still looks up to Walt and desires his approval
It'll be interesting to see how Jesse re-evaluates his relationship with Walter in hindsight.
There's an evocative shot in the trailer that shows Jesse digging a hole in the desert. Breaking Bad fans usually associate digging holes with hiding money, but there's reason to believe that Jesse is burying a body; is that hair sticking out of the rolled-up carpet on the left?
In the old days, Jesse would have disposed of the body by dissolving it in acid. But with Walter dead, Jesse might be resorting to more traditional methods.