Breaking Bad features somewhere near the top of any respectable ‘all-time greatest TV shows’ list.
Sitting proudly alongside The Sopranos, The Wire and Game of Thrones in the Golden Age of TV, the series told the story of a struggling and depressed chemistry teacher who after being diagnosed with lung cancer, turns to a life of crime selling crystal meth. Breaking Bad writer Vince Gilligan described the original series as the transformation of Mr Chips into Scarface.
Just over six years after the series ended in a glorious, shocking and fan-pleasing finale, Breaking Bad will return in October with El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, exclusively on Netflix. It's a two-hour companion film, following on from the events of the final episode Felina.
Starring Bryan Cranston in the lead role of Walter White and Aaron Paul as Walt’s former student and partner in crime Jesse Pinkman, the original Breaking Bad series has already inspired one hit spin-off show, the critically acclaimed Better Call Saul.
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan spoke to BT TV in 2018 about the possibility of bringing the show back to look at what happened to Jesse Pinkman and admitted that he had considered the possibility
"You never know if that character could be revisited in the future," he teased. "Anything is possible. We live in a world with great possibilities."
Gilligan also revealed that he had toyed with the idea of killing off Jesse, but couldn’t go through with it because of the affection he had for the character.
“I'd like to think that he got away!" he said, when asked about the fate of Jesse.
"I don't really know in terms of what he should be doing as a career but I hope he would get away, meet somebody nice, not be a criminal anymore or face those kinds of horrors.
"I always liked that character. I had a soft spot for him."
Fan anticipation for El Camino is red hot and Netflix are keeping information about the film top secret, but one thing we definitely know is that the two-hour film is going to be one of the biggest TV moments of 2019.
What time is the Breaking Bad Movie released on Netflix
After months of secrecy and a top secret operation shooting the film, it would be nightmare for Breaking Bad fans to have the El Camino film spoiled for them by eager beavers who get to watch it first. So the big question everyone has been asking Netflix UK is what time the film will be released on the service.
Netflix UK's Twitter account has confirmed that the all-important time is 8am on Friday, October 11th.
How many people are going to have a last minute dentist appointment on Friday and be late for work?
look at these photos from the El Camino premiere and see if you can spot the hidden easter egg that te(8am)lls you what time it'll be available on Friday pic.twitter.com/CxxPDZ2Wjz— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) October 8, 2019
Behind the scenes on Breaking Bad
Less than 24 hours before the film is released, Netflix gave fans a sneak peek behind the scenes in a short video with the cast and crew on set.
If you weren't already excited enough about the next chapter in Jesse's journey, you will be now...
Breaking Bad cast reunite at El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie red carpet
If excitement levels weren't already high enough for the film on Friday, the old gang got back together at the Regency Village Theatre, Los Angeles this week.
From Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul hugging it out with creator Vince Gilligan to fan-pleasing appearances from Krysten Ritter, Dean Norris, Lavell Crawford and Jesse Plemons, it was a heart-warming nostalgia-fest for fans of the TV series.
Does this mean that all these actors are going to be appearing in the film? Does this mean Walter White isn't really dead? Probably not. They may just have been in attendance to show support for Aaron Paul and Vince Gilligan and to meet old friends.
But we'd be very surprised if there weren't a handful of surprise appearances in the movie, judging by Vince Gilligan's skills with Easter Eggs, throwbacks and head-spinning twists.
Aaron Paul at the El Camino premiere
Is Walter White dead?
Ever since the Breaking Bad Movie was confirmed, the big questions everyone had about the project is whether Bryan Cranston would be involved and was Walter White really dead.
Surely you can't do A Breaking Bad Movie without Heisenberg - but the ending for the character at the end of the TV series was fairly definitive.
Fan theories that would allow Cranston to star in the film have ranged from Walter White miraculously surviving and not really being dead to the end of the original series being some sort of dream sequence.
Bryan Cranston fed these theories during a cast reunion at Comic-Con in 2018, when he teased: "Maybe Walter White did get away with it... Was there a coroner’s report? No. Was there a listing in the obituaries? No."
However, in an interview with The Rich Eisen Show ahead of the El Camino premiere, creator Vince Gilligan finally put a nail in the coffin of the 'Walter White lives' theory.
"Yeah, I’m gonna give you that one, Rich, because I love you so much," said Gilligan. "Yes, Walter White is dead. Yes."
However, when asked whether that meant Bryan Cranston character wasn't in the movie, Gilligan smiled, erred and didn't answer the question. That's about as close to a yes as we're going to get.
What's the signifiance of Vamonos Pest to the film?
Kill 'em dead. pic.twitter.com/deMgAVqJMj— Breaking Bad (@BreakingBad) October 3, 2019
The minor character Ira, played by Franc Ross, looks like he may have a significant role in the fate of Jesse Pinkman in El Camino, after shooting a short cameo video for the new series.
Ira appeared in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul and is the manager of Vamonos Pest, a crew of exterminators who use their business as a front for criminal actvity such as robberies.
In Breaking Bad, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman bought the business to cover for their meth production. He also appeared in season 4 of Better Call Saul, helping Jimmy steal a Hummel figure from Neff Copiers.
Update - Breaking Bad Movie trailer revealed at 2019 Emmys
Netflix released a second teaser trailer for El Camino at the 2019 Emmys, which picks up the Breaking Bad story shortly after the original series ended.
Aaron Paul's Jesse Pinkman has just escaped the Nazi compound, where he had been working as a meth slave, and he's sat in Todd's El Camino listening to the radio reports about the shootout, which left nine dead.
The news broadcaster says: "Investigators are searching for a person of interest who fled the scene.
"Anyone with information on this massacre is asked to call police immediately."
Viewers are teased with the heavy breathing of Jesse and a close-up of his panicked eyes in the car.
Updated - Full trailer reveals El Camino plot
Breaking Bad fans are going wild over the goose-bump-inducing full trailer, which starts to give us a flavour of the El Camino film and throws in plenty of subtle references to the original series.
The plot looks like it will revolve around Jesse Pinkman attempting to do right by all the wrongs in his life, while simultaneously being on the run from the DEA and being a person of interest in the case of Walter White killing off Jack and Todd's gang.
Footage of Badger taking off his hat, an image of Brock and a possible blurred shot of Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) at the spot where he was killed, have all got fans speculating and developing new theories on social media.
In the closing moment of the trailer, a mysterious man asks Jesse, "Are you ready?" The identity of the man could be the biggest shock yet for Breaking Bad fans.
The return of The Disappearer?
The key moment in the full trailer is the showdown between Jesse and a mysterious man, who whose identity remains a secret. We only hear the man ask Jesse: "Are you ready?"
A popular fan theory is that this man could be Ed, who was played by Robert Forster in the original series. Ed had a cover business as a vacuum repair man, but his secret profession was as a 'disappearer', helping people start new lives when they were on the run.
He helped move Walter White to New Hampshire and Saul Goodman to his life as a manager of a Nebraska Cinnabon.
After Jesse has done right by those he wronged, will he attempt to start a new life with some help from Ed? Or could Ed be helping Jesse reunite with Saul in Nebraska?
Old Joe is back in business
Another Breaking Bad character returning for a role in the El Camino movie has been confirmed in a teaser trailer released on Saturday, September 28th.
Old Joe, who appeared in season 3 and season 5 of the original series, was played by the legendary Larry Hankin - best know for his roles in Escape from Alcatraz, Billy Madison, Running Scared and as Mr Heckles in Friends.
The owner of Rocker Salvage, the junkyard worker who helped Walter White and Jesse Pinkman out of a couple of spots of bother, disposing of their RV so the police couldn't get evidence from it and helping them create a large magnet that would wipe information from Gus Fring's laptop.
In the new short teaser, Old Joe is shown answering the phone to Jesse Pinkman after watching a news report about how he's a police prime suspect.
"Yeah, I know who this is," says Old Joe. "At this point, who doesn't?"
Will Jesse be requiring Old Joe's help in disposing of his vehicle? Or does he need his services for a bigger project?
When is the Breaking Bad film El Camino released?
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie premieres on Netflix on October 11, 2019.
Everything we know so far about El Camino...
Netflix have announced very little information about the film, which is being billed as a “gripping thriller”.
It was filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico – the same shooting location as Breaking Bad – and has the working title ‘Greenbrier’.
The one sentence description of the film confirms that it will be set after the events of Breaking Bad, when Jessie Pinkman was freed from his Neo-Nazi compound and drove off in a stolen El Camino.
Netflix’s preview states: "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.”
A post-Breaking Bad timeline means that Bryan Cranston could only appear as Walter White in flashback or dream sequence, because he died in the show’s finale.
Cranston and Paul both posted matching images of two donkeys against a mountainous backdrop, shortly before El Camino was announced.
It is believed the picture could be referencing drug mules, which transport narcotics across borders – which could be the focus of the film.
Paul has kept quiet about the movie, but did tell the New York Times earlier this year: “It’s a chapter of Breaking Bad that I didn’t realise that I wanted.
“And now that I have it, I’m so happy that it’s there.”
(First Look at Aaron Paul in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie)
The actor confessed that he had the same concerns as many fans about returning to the character ("I think Vince and the rest of the writers really nailed the landing with the ending of Breaking Bad, and why mess with that?"), but said that after reading the script those doubts quickly disappeared.
"I would follow [writer] Vince [Gilligan] into a fire. That's how much I trust the man. I would do anything that he asked me to," Paul told The Hollywood Reporter.
Talking in the same interview about getting back into character, Paul said: "It was so easy for me to just jump into where Jesse's at mentally, emotionally, because I lived and breathed everything he went through and then some, and so, honestly, it felt like a part of me had gone through that as well."
When asked why the project had been kept so secretive, Gilligan joked: "I don't want to open my Christmas presents a week and a half before Christmas."
However, the writer does admit that he's nervous about the fan reception:
"I'm hoping when the movie comes out, people won't say, 'Oh, man, this guy should've left well enough alone'," said Gilligan. "Why did George Foreman keep coming out of retirement, you know?"
Who is in the cast? Which Breaking Bad characters will return?
Other than Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman, the only confirmed actors returning for the film are Charles Baker and Matt Jones, who played Skinny Pete and Badger in Breaking Bad.
The duo, played the drug-dealing, drug-taking friends of Jesse and helped Walter White set up a trust fund for his kids in the Breaking Bad finale, operating as hit men.
An exclusive report in The Hollywood Report with Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul confirmed that the movie will include 10 characters from Breaking Bad. This means there must be seven more returning actors, who haven't been confirmed yet. These could include Anna Gunn as Skyler White, Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader or RJ Mitte as Walter 'Flynn' White Jr.
(Skinny Pete and Badger in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie)
The poster for El Camino plays into the theory that the film will follow the format of a road/chase movie and fans will be hoping that Jesse bumps into some familiar faces while on the run.
Cranston’s Walter White is dead, but the actor has frequently stated his openness to playing the character again. Flashbacks, dream sequences or a drug-taking hallucination all provide possible methods to involve him in the film.
Other characters who failed to make it out of Breaking Bad alive, such as Jane (Krysten Ritter), Andrea (Emily Rios), Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and Hank Schrader (Dean Norris).
Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk), has his own spin-off series Better Call Saul, set before the events of Breaking Bad. A fifth season has just finished filming and is expected to air in early 2020.
Better Call Saul revealed Goodman’s life after Breaking Bad in a flashforward sequence, where he’s working as a manager of a Cinnabon. So there is a possibility that El Camino could crossover with Better Call Saul and loop into events of season 5 – although that isn’t based on anything other than fan wishes for Saul and Jesse to meet again.
Other minor characters who could pop up in fan-pleasing cameos include Huell (Lavell Crawford) and Kuby (Bill Burr).
(Jonathan Banks in Better Call Saul)
The latest actor to confirm that they will be appearing in the movie is Jonathan Banks, who played Mike Ehrmantraut in Breaking Bad and spinoff series Better Call Saul.
He was killed by Walter White before the end of Breaking Bad, but the actor told ET Canada at the Emmys that he would pop up in the film.
When asked if he would appear, Banks said: "Yes. They’ll hit me in the head for saying this, but yes. Why not? None of those guys hit very hard anyway."
This huge news opens the door to more possible comebacks in the form of ghosts/hallucinations/flashbacks - with Bryan Cranston and Krysten Ritter featuring on an alleged cast list that circulated on fan forums.
The Breaking Bad 10 characters returning in El Camino
Vince Gilligan promised that 10 actors from the Breaking Bad TV series would appear in the film. Below are the latest returning characters confirmed to appear in El Camino:
1. Jessie Pinkman - Played by Aaron Paul
2. Skinny Pete - Played Charles Baker
3. Badger - Played by Matt Jones
4. Mike Ehrmantraut - Played by Jonathan Banks
5. Old Joe - Played by Larry Hankin
6. Ira, the founder and former owner of Vamonos Pest - Played by Franc Ross
Netflix are understandably keeping details about the film under wraps. The cast and Vince Gilligan aren't doing the usual TV show rounds of junkets and TV interviews, giving away scoops, spoilers and details about the plots and characters.
Talking to Time, Paul said: "Anyone that’s a fan of Breaking Bad knows that all of these characters went through hell and back- especially Pinkman. It was a life-changing role for me, and there were a lot of ups and downs with this guy.
"In the first couple seasons, I tried to stay within that skin and stay as focused as possible. But [co-star] Bryan [Cranston] taught me that it’s okay to wash the makeup off at the end of the day and just be yourself. It was a bit of a struggle for all of us - it was an emotional toll. Playing Jesse was like revisiting an old friend."
In the interview with Vulture, Paul confessed that he found it difficult dealing with all the movie offers he got offer after Breaking Bad. He also said that the limited commercial success that followed on the big screen had marked him out as a failure as a blockbuster leading man.
"You do one commercial film that’s not the success they think it’s going to be, and you’re damned," he said.
He did also tease his response to the ending of El Camino, revealing: "When I flipped the last page, I just laid there in silence."
Watch the El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie trailer
A teaser trailer has confirmed another Breaking Bad character, Skinny Pete, will be involved in the film.
Played by Charle Baker, Skinny was a good friend of Jesse and in the short clip he’s refusing to open up.
“I have no idea where he is," says Skinny Pete in the interrogation room.
"Don't know where he's headed either. North, south, east, west, Mexico, the moon — I don't have a clue. But yo, even if I did, I wouldn't tell you."
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie – The fan theories
1. Greenbrier clue
The working title of the film was Greenbrier, which could have been to throw people off the scent. However, there is also the possibility that it holds a clue to the plot of El Camino.
Greenbrier is the name of a climbing flower plant, known as Smilax, which comes from a Greek myth.
The myth is about a tragic love story and a man who is turned into a flower after falling in love with a woodland nymph.
Could El Camino have a fatal love story for Jesse?
2. Walter White didn’t die
The ending of Breaking Bad was fairly definitive with the death of Walter White, but that hasn’t stopped some determined fans on forums and Reddit plotting out theories for how he could have survived.
The strongest theory is that a weak and close-to-death Walter is somehow alive and is facing interrogation like Skinny Pete to give up the location of Jesse. Would Vince Gilligan consider it worthwhile undermining the end of Breaking Bad for a minor cameo? It seems unlikely.
3. Better Call Saul crossover
Fans have spent a long while pondering the possibility of Jesse Pinkman and Walter White popping up in Better Call Saul, but the series has stood on its own two feet without cameos from the Breaking Bad duo.
But the flash-forward sequences of Saul Goodman working under a new alias in a Cinnabon do raise the interesting possibility that the sneaky lawyer could cross paths with Jesse in El Camino.
How to watch El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is streaming now on Netflix.
Photo Credits: Ben Rothstein/Netflix/Rex/AMC/Michele K Short/Kobal/Shutterstock/ helsea Lauren