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Netflix's El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is meant to bring back at least 10 characters from the AMC show. Obviously Aaron Paul's Jesse Pinkman is the main character. The very first promo showed Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) refusing to rat out his buddy Jesse. After that, it was confirmed that their boy Badger (Matt L. Jones) would also return for the movie. Jonathan Banks pulled a classic Mike Ehrmantraut move by revealing his own appearance in the movie -- spoilers be damned. So that's three supporting characters confirmed for Jesse's movie, and now we have a fourth: Old Joe.
Old Joe's appearance was teased in the El Camino trailer that aired during the 2019 Emmy Awards. But this time we don't just see a glimpse of the junkyard, we hear a phone conversation between Old Joe and, presumably, Jesse Pinkman. Watch the clip:
Yep, El Camino will "Go for Joe" in the upcoming Breaking Bad movie. As Joe notes in the video, everyone knows who Jesse Pinkman is at this point, since the clip also shows Jesse on TV as a wanted man after the Breaking Bad finale.
Old Joe owns the Rocker Salvage junkyard and he's helped out Walter White and Jesse Pinkman a few times. He first showed up in Season 3 and saved them from Hank and he also returned in Season 5.
Why is Old Joe back now? The title of the movie is El Camino because Jesse sped away in Todd's (Jesse Plemons) El Camino in the Breaking Bad finale. Will Jesse try to junk the El Camino since it's recognizable and get a new ride? If so, why would the movie be called El Camino? That'd be like killing off a main character shortly into the movie. Maybe Old Joe tells him no way. We don't have long to wait to find out, since the movie hits Netflix on October 11. Joe was never a main character, but it's still good to see him back.
Breaking Bad maestro Vince Gilligan wrote and directed El Camino, which is going to get a limited release in theaters as well as playing on Netflix before eventually arriving on the home network of AMC. Gilligan admitted to THR -- which also included the note about the movie including at least 10 Breaking Bad characters -- that El Camino isn't going to play well for people who aren't caught up on the TV show.
If, after 12 years, you haven't watched Breaking Bad, you're probably not going to start now. If you do, I hope that this movie would still be engaging on some level, but there's no doubt in my mind that you won't get as much enjoyment out of it. We don't slow down to explain things to a non-Breaking Bad audience. I thought early on in the writing of the script, 'Maybe there's a way to have my cake and eat it too. Maybe there's a way to explain things to the audience.' If there was a way to do that, it eluded me.
No, don't bother. The Downton Abbey movie opened to #1 at the box office last weekend by giving the loyal TV fans exactly what they wanted. Rick Grimes' Walking Dead movie is also heading to theaters. I do think we have a trend on our hands. This might be the best time to point out that I'm unsatisfied with how Northern Exposure ended and I would like the cast to reunite for a wrap-up movie. Thank you for your consideration.
The thing about Breaking Bad is that almost no one was unsatisfied with that ending. Reunions, reboots, continuations, or movies often end up in the conversation if the story was left unfinished or if the showrunners wanted something more and the network said no. That's not the case here.
Vince Gilligan explained to THR why he even decided to tell the rest of Jesse Pinkman's story in a movie instead of just letting us imagine where he drove off to:
But 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?'
Aaron Paul admitted he had his own doubts.
I'm like everybody else on the planet — 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 it's Vince we're talking about. I would follow Vince into a fire. That's how much I trust the man. I would do anything that he asked me to.
Ultimately, Aaron Paul said he thinks fans will be happy with the Breaking Bad movie. And since he loved the finale as much as fans, that does go a long way. Sure, he has to promote the movie, but we all trust Vince Gilligan at this point. The man wouldn't risk his own great reputation for nothing.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie will release on Netflix and in select theaters on Friday, October 11. AMC has yet to reveal when it will air on the network.