El Camino Director Says Newcomers Can Watch the Movie Without Seeing Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, writer-director of sequel movie El Camino, says the Netflix original movie will appeal to audiences who have yet to watch the five-season series that starred Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. Set after Breaking Bad’s series finale — which saw meth-making slave Jesse Pinkman (Paul) race to freedom behind the wheel of a stolen El Camino when escaping months of captivity — the movie will reportedly see the return of at least ten Breaking Bad characters but will stand largely independent of the original show and prequel-sequel-spinoff series Better Call Saul.

“I don’t know if I would completely agree with ‘do you need to see even Breaking Bad to understand this movie.’ It’s not gonna nearly mean as much to you if you haven’t seen Breaking Bad, or Better Call [Saul] — well, mainly Breaking Bad,” Gilligan told THR when asked if El Camino viewers would “better appreciate” the franchise’s first movie after watching Saul. “But I think you can even, folks who have never seen Breaking Bad, can watch this movie. And without giving anything away, what happens to [Paul’s] character in this movie, I think will engage an audience even that is not up to date on the prior shows. But having said all that, yeah, by all means, see Breaking Bad first. Better Call Saul... not as much.”

Added Paul, whose fugitive Jesse headlines El Camino, “I mean, I think they should watch. I think they should watch Better Call Saul multiple times.”

“I think they should watch it. Plus every episode of The X-Files I wrote,” Gilligan quipped. “That’s important too.”

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Saul, set to debut its fifth season on AMC in 2020, is largely set before the events of Breaking Bad. There Jimmy McGill, presented as slimeball Saul Goodman, acted as the criminal lawyer of drug kingpin Walter White (Cranston) and partner-in-crime Jesse. Recurring portions of Saul offer a glimpse into Goodman’s pitiful life after his final Breaking Bad appearance in “Granite State,” the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad’s fifth and final season.

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.

All episodes of Breaking Bad are available for streaming on Netflix, where El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie premieres October 11.