Breaking Bad spoilers ahead -- if you have not watched the show, turn around now. You've been warned.
At the end of Breaking Bad, Walter White was dead, and Jesse Pinkman -- after being prisoner at a compound home to white supremacists -- was driving away free. The breakout success of the series (was anything ever more binge-able?!) practically demanded that the creatives and executives return to the well and "keep cooking."
So they did with the prequel series Better Call Saul. Now, with El Camino, we're also picking up the pieces where Breaking Bad left off.
The synopsis for the movie reads: “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.”
In an interview with THR, Gilligan addresses the risk with a project like this one:
"I'm hoping when the movie comes out, people won't say, 'Oh, man, this guy should've left well enough alone...Why did George Foreman keep coming out of retirement, you know?”
So what drives him to keep writing for this character? Gilligan went on to say:
"...I started thinking to myself, 'What happened to Jesse?' You see him driving away. And to my mind, he went off to a happy ending. But as the years progressed, I thought, 'What did that ending — let's just call it an ending, neither happy, nor sad — what did it look like?'”
There are a lot of reasons to keep making Breaking Bad stories, whether or not there is more story left to tell is not likely chief among them. Gilligan, however, seems well aware of the potential traps and he seems to be hoping at least this project offers something new enough. We can tell from the trailer at least, that the past weighs heavily on the story and the character of Jesse. From a writing perspective, it's interesting to picture oneself in the enviable predicament of having to find more story to tell after all those successful seasons of TV mined so many corners.
Just looking at how important in a dramatic sense the characters of Skinny Pete and Badger seem to be, characters who were more or less comic relief on the series, never examined very fully. Are there new depths to mine with those two?
Check out the trailer and let us know what you think:
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie will debut on Netflix and in some theaters October 11.