– by Stephon White
Vince Gilligan speaking at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, for “The X-Files” 20th Anniversary panel, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Walter White’s story came to a rare and satisfying conclusion five years ago during the Breaking Bad finale. Set at an Aryan compound, the conclusion showcased Walter White’s trademark inventiveness. He MacGyvering the hell out of the M60 into the trunk of that Cadillac Sedan DeVille. Then he generously spared no bullet mowing down a group a neo-Nazis like weeds before he himself fades out. The mythical Heisenberg did not ride out into the sunset, but his partner Jesse Pinkman lived to possibly cook another day.

That closed an amazing chapter in TV history. So, having neatly tied a bow on the standout hit Breaking Bad, how difficult was it for Vince Gilligan to return to the meth-cooking streets of Albuquerque to tell the tale of Jesse Pinkman? What would happen if the return was a flub? In an interview with THR, Gilligan commented on that exact same predicament.

“I’m hoping when the movie comes out, people won’t say, ‘Oh, man, this guy should’ve left well enough alone.”

Adding to the difficulty was that Gilligan hadn’t written by himself in a good while, and when he did, he took his damn time.

“I was the laziest writer in creation,” Gilligan told the outlet. “I’d piddle around. It took me two years to write a first draft of a movie script in the early ’90s, just because I had no one holding a gun to my head. I just didn’t have that work ethic. Working in TV changed everything for me.”

That had its pluses and minuses, especially for El Camino.

“I had been working with excellent writers now for well over a decade, and I’d forgotten what it was like to write something by myself, and it was daunting,” Gilligan shared. “Suddenly I’m trying to write this and thinking, ‘God, I really could use a writers room about now.’”

Thankfully Gilligan proved that there’s more juice in the world of Breaking Bad with the fantastic Better Call Saul. If anyone was worried about Gilligan’s prowess post-Breaking Bad, he proved those filmmaking gears in his head are still spinning and working just fine. Now can Gilligan replicate the vibe of Breaking Bad when El Camino movie debuts? We won’t know until October 11 for sure. That’s when El Camino will debut both on Netflix and select theaters.

“Why did George Foreman keep coming out of retirement, you know?” Gilligan said about the trepidation he felt when approaching El Camino. Here’s to hoping we won’t be wondering the same thing when El Camino premieres and has us all saying Pinkman’s catchphrase of “Yeah B***!”.

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