“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” is set to release on Netflix Oct. 11. This marks the second time that fans can revisit the world of Heisenberg.
The first was the highly successful and ongoing series “Better Call Saul.” This movie release marks a change in behavior for iconic franchises. A return to these original characters can be creatively dangerous but financially lucrative. Should other fan favorite franchises follow the same path?
The success of “Breaking Bad” is in no small part due to the creative intelligence and writing ability of show runner Vince Gilligan. It’s also the reason that “Better Call Saul” has continued to critically flourish and will no doubt mean “El Camino” will do the same. Along with the combined efforts of stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, this movie should be a return to form. Not every franchise can achieve this though.
The 25th anniversary of “Friends” seems like the perfect opportunity to reflect on the future of fan favorite franchises. A movie featuring the return of these legendary characters seems like a no brainer, especially on Netflix, a platform that continues to grow despite potential threats. The same could be said for “Game of Thrones.” The Emmy award winning series has only just finished. However, a movie sequel could cap it off in a more satisfying way.
In both instances though severe damage could be done. “Friends” is so well remembered and loved that a recreation of that atmosphere in a movie may not do it justice. For “Game of Thrones” the dust hasn’t settled yet on the series. With a prequel likely on the way, a sequel seems like too much. Other fan favorite franchises would come across similar problems. It isn’t that easy to recapture that magic, especially since many of these series might not even lend themselves to the format of film.
Why “El Camino” Will Work
“El Camino” is different. “Breaking Bad” wasn’t known for a consistent formula week in, week out like “Friends”. It isn’t considered an instant a worldwide phenomena like “Game of Thrones”. It’s loved and it’s appreciated, but it has entered our culture in a strange way. It could be considered the greatest TV show of all time, yet it has been a slow burner, with new fans discovering it each year.
What’s more, a drama like “Breaking Bad” is perfect for a movie sequel because there’s a story to tell. A very singular story. Each of these other franchises has too much to juggle. But Jesse Pinkman is the perfect way into this world again. The same spirit can be re-captured by using the heart of the series. You couldn’t take Ross and make a movie about just him. A movie about Arya wouldn’t reflect the rest of Westeros. Jesse is a unique way to explore the criminal depths Albuquerque one more time. And we can’t wait.