"What happened to Jesse?"
That's the question that "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan told The Hollywood Reporter put him on the path to his latest project.
"El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie" is set to premiere Oct. 11 on Netflix and in theaters in 68 cities before it airs on the original show's home network of AMC early next year.
Gilligan told THR he felt there was more story to tell after his hit series starring Bryan Cranston as teacher-turned-drug-dealer Walter White and Aaron Paul as his right hand man, Jesse Pinkman, ended following five seasons in 2013.
He was especially intrigued by the thought of what happened with Paul's character, Jesse.
"You see him driving away. And to my mind, he went off to a happy ending," Gilligan said. "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?'"
For his part, Paul said he was good after the finale aired.
"I really loved Jesse," the actor said. "I knew him better than anyone, but it was a big weight off of my shoulders to hang up the cleats and walk away. I thought it was goodbye, and I was OK with that."
Like many others Paul thought the ending of the series was perfect, so "why mess with that?"
But his loyalty to Gilligan ("I would follow Vince into a fire") helped draw him back Paul told the publication.
"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," Paul said. "All I had to do was just memorize these words and then play them out when they yelled 'action.' "
Gilligan has a warning for newbie's to the 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," he said.
"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."
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