Aaron Paul brings Jesse Pinkman back for 'Breaking Bad' standalone movie on Netflix

  • Jesse (Aaron Paul) is on the run in "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie."

    Jesse (Aaron Paul) is on the run in "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie." Courtesy of Netflix

By George Dickie
Updated 10/11/2019 11:04 AM

When last seen, mentally and emotionally broken meth cook/dealer Jesse Pinkman was laughing maniacally as he fled neo-Nazi captors in his Chevy El Camino in the 2013 series finale of "Breaking Bad."

Now, fans of creator Vince Gilligan's multiple Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning AMC drama series get to find out what became of the well-intentioned lad gone wrong -- and likely a whole lot more -- when three-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul reprises the role in "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie," which begins streaming Friday, Oct. 11, on Netflix.


As with any series rife with cliffhangers, details on "El Camino" were hard to come by, save for the one-line description on the Netflix press release that says, "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."

The idea for the film came from something Gilligan had been kicking around as the 10th anniversary of the series approached in 2018, according to fellow executive producer Melissa Bernstein.

"We were trying to think of ways to mark that anniversary in a fun way for fans and do something meaningful," she explains. "And Vince at the time thought, 'What if I did a little short about Jesse?' And we were like, 'Did I hear that right? Really? Do you really have the interest and draw to return to that story ...?' And he was like, 'I think I do.' And he started just mulling it over. ... And I think the more he thought about it, the more story he felt was there and I think that grew into something that maybe it's not a short, maybe it's an episode-long piece. And then from there, I think he felt like this could be its own story and its own film."

Getting Paul back on board was a shoo-in thanks to his relationship with Gilligan, Bernstein reports.

"Most everyone involved ... I think would do anything for Vince," she says. "You know, if Vince called them and said, 'I have an idea. I just kind of want you to show up. What do you think?' I think every one of them would show up. There's just that much goodwill and trust built up between Vince and that cast and in particular between Vince and Aaron.

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"And Aaron, he's game," she continues, "and he's just always been so committed to our 'Breaking Bad' family that it wasn't in doubt for even a moment that he would participate."

As for cast beyond Paul, it is known that Matt Jones (aka Badger) and Charles Baker (Skinny Pete) are on board, but no word at all on whether "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston is involved or whether chemistry teacher-turned-meth dealer Walter White is alive or dead -- which was also left open-ended in the finale.

"As much as the storyline," Bernstein says, "the cast I think is what we feel provides the biggest surprises and fun -- for who's in it and who's not in it. And I think that is something also that we hope the fans will get to discover on their own and not via the internet."

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