Warning: This article includes spoilers
Vince Gilligan, creator of El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie and lead actor Aaron Paul, have confirmed different endings of the project were scrapped.
The film, which brings the Breaking Bad story to a close and, as many fans were hoping for, allows closure in the life of main character Jesse Pinkman who escapes both criminal captivity and a police manhunt to start a new life in Alaska.
While Pinkman was able to outwit all those chasing him in the end, creator Gilligan confirmed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he toyed with the idea of a slightly bleaker ending to his story: “As the years started to pass, I found myself wondering at idle moments, ‘How exactly did he get away? Because that’s no easy feat! And what if he didn’t get away? What if he got busted right around the next corner?’”
Gilligan added: “I even played with telling that story in a movie, and luckily smarter brains prevailed.” However, those closest to the creator offered some advice on how he must prevail with the story: “The people that I love and trust, starting with my girlfriend Holly [Rice], said, ‘You cannot have Jesse Pinkman get busted at the end of this thing. You cannot go that route.’ And I said, “Okay. All right, honey.” [Laughs.] I’m glad I listened to her and I listened to Peter Gould and the Better Call Saul writers.”
Aaron Paul, who plays Pinkman in the show, was unaware that Gilligan had contemplated a dire end for his character: “Wow…. He never said that to me. Wow. That’s so interesting. I mean, I’m happy that he’s not caught, you know?”
One topic of debate for all Breaking Bad fans who have seen the film is the letter Pinkman writes to Brock Cantillo, the son of Pinkman’s deceased girlfriend Andrea. “That letter to Brock was the very first thing that Vince wrote when writing this script,” Paul explained. “Once he completed that letter, he started the script. Originally the voiceover of that letter was how the movie ended — just driving through Alaska and you could hear what was inside of that letter…. It’s heartbreaking, it’s beautiful, just honest. But Vince just thought, ‘You know what? Maybe it’s best left unknown.’ And we don’t need it. He was right. But I love knowing what was in the letter.”
Pressed for more details about what the letter contained, Paul typically remained tight-lipped: “I swore to Vince that I would never share what was in that letter. But… [Jesse] just could not be more open and honest. It’s just really him saying, ‘I’m sorry,’ and that’s it.”