It's been confirmed: We are getting a Breaking Bad movie. Despite the movie already being in post-production, that it exists is pretty much all we know. As of this writing, there's no officially announced title. The movie's only description on IMDb is “Following the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom.” Beyond a confirmation that Aaron Paul stars, we don't know who else is going to be in the movie. It was written and directed by Vince Gilligan, which is a relief since he was the creator, head writer, and executive producer of Breaking Bad. We wouldn't trust anyone else to come in to make a sequel in this franchise.
Of course, the mystery leaves fans free to theorize without limits. Will Jesse go on to run a criminal empire? He could. Is he going to steal Walt's money and move to Buenos Aires to live out his days peacefully? It's possible. Anything is, at this point. So here are five fan theories we hope have some traction, and five we really hope don't come true. But as long as Jesse says his trademark phrase, “Yeah bitch!” at least once, we'll be happy.
10 Don’t: Brock’s Return
Brock is the young son of Jesse’s ex-girlfriend Andrea Cantillo. He’s a good kid who unfairly ends up as collateral in some of Walter White’s machinations. But—Brock proved to be very good motivation for Jesse. When Jesse found out that it was Walter who had poisoned Brock, Jesse finally turned on him and seeks revenge for Brock.
Brock’s fate is left unknown at the end of Breaking Bad. After his mother is murdered, is he taken in my his grandmother? Kidnapped by the neo-Nazis? Dragged into a cartel? No one knows. And yet…watching Jesse go searching for him might not be that interesting. Unless we come into the movie already sure of where Brock is being held, a search and rescue could be a boring sequel after the five amazing seasons of the show.
9 Do: Walter White Comes Back
But not how you think. Walter White has to stay dead after the end of Breaking Bad. So instead of retconning the show and having White alive and well, the movie could bring him up some other interesting way. Maybe he’ll appear in a flashback, maybe he’ll have left something behind for Jesse to take care of, or maybe he’ll just be a ghostly memory that haunts Jesse.
There are plenty of ways that Cranston could come back, and fan conjecture comes up with a new way about once a week, so we’re just going to leave it at this: We hope Bryan Cranston reprises his famous role as Walter White, but as a dead man.
8 Don’t: The Malcolm in the Middle Ending
This amusing theory has come and gone a thousand times: What if Breaking Bad is a prequel to Malcolm in the Middle, and Hal is actually Walter White’s new name under witness protection?
It’s interesting. It’s a great way to tie universes together. It’s also just pretty funny to imagine Walt somehow surviving his illness and the bullet wounds to become a weird frazzled dad in the suburbs. And the “alternate ending” video of exactly this idea that was included in the DVD set is hilarious. But if Jesse finds out that Walt is alive, let alone finds him with three sons in the suburbs, things will go downhill.
7 Do: Jesse Gets Involved with Drug Smuggling
There’s been some debate about whether or not Bryan Cranston will appear in the movie, but Aaron Paul is definitely set to star. In June 2019 though, Cranston and Paul both tweeted the same ominous message: “Soon.” Except… both tweets were pictures of donkeys. Since donkeys are pack mules that are great for transporting something over rough terrain, people are starting to wonder if maybe Jesse is going to be getting himself a pair of them and getting back to work. Could Jesse get involved in drug smuggling across the Mexico/US border? That’s the predominant fan theory in response to the tweet.
And Cranston’s matching tweet makes it seem like he will be involved in the movie somehow.
6 Don’t: A Better Call Saul Crossover
Don’t get us wrong: Better Call Saul is a great show. And it is interesting that one of the most recent episodes of it shows “Gene” being recognized by his cab driver who just might be from New Mexico. Saul’s ads that ran on regional television featured his face, so it’s not impossible that someone could recognize him.
But the idea of Jesse Pinkman going to Nebraska for legal advice from Saul is a little too twee, especially for a show that got as dark as Breaking Bad did. What would happen in this crossover—Jesse and Saul bond over gooey cinnamon rolls? They get in a shoot-out in the kitchen of the Cinnabon? No thanks.
5 Do: Gus Fring Is (Somehow) CIA
Reddit user @xyanon36 posted an interesting theory: Gus Fring, whose mysterious past doesn’t even exist in basic records in his native Chile, was working with the CIA. Was Fring perhaps a powerful Chilean aristocrat who helped the CIA install Augusto Pinochet? Is that how his records disappeared? Did the CIA help him legally move to the US without having any sort of birth records? And is that why Don Eladio said, “I know who you are,” when he refused to kill Fring?
How could this figure into the movie? Maybe Fring is still helping the CIA with the drug cartels in Arizona and New Mexico. That would explain how Fring’s meth empire was largely left alone—he’s still helping the CIA deal with bigger problems. Keeping him close is in the CIA’s best interest. Maybe when Jesse escapes, Fring steps in and draws him into his own ring of power somehow.
4 Don’t: Jesse Evading Police
When we see Jesse escape the compound, all we see is him escape. We don’t know how long he stays free and outruns the cops—or all his other enemies. The current known plot of the movie is “following the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom,” so Jesse-on-the-run fits the bill. But there can only be one Frank Abagnale Jr., and we hope this movie doesn’t try to make Aaron Paul follow in Leo DiCaprio’s shoes.
Maybe the film could pick up after a few years of jail-time for Jesse, when he’s back out and making the most of his life again, but what would be the point?
3 Do: The Switch Theory
In a Reddit AMA session, Aaron Paul once said of Jesse, "I like to think Jesse got away. I like to think he kept driving... I like to think he was building something in Alaska... So, I think he's living happy on a lake somewhere in Alaska, fishing a lot, making things out of wood, probably kicked the habit of meth.”
While this wouldn’t make a great two hour movie, it would make a great ending. Interestingly, it would mean that Jesse’s arc is the exact opposite of Walt’s. Walt started out as a good guy who went bad, and Jesse started out as a bad kid who learns to be good. What if the movie closes on Jesse starting his first class as a chemistry teacher, married and with a kid or two?
2 Don’t: Jesse Gets Kidnapped and Forced to Cook…Again
Remember when Jesse was videotaped doing a pure meth how-to? The video was probably circulated, and when the news that Heisenberg/Walt is dead gets out, everyone is going to realize that Jesse is the next best thing. So no matter where Jesse goes, he might be just leaping out of the pot and into the fire. Any number of cartel bosses, wannabe cooks, and aspiring crime lords will be searching for him.
And yet—we already did this. Jesse has been kidnapped and forced to cook crystal meth, that’s what he just escaped from. So as plausible as this is, we really hope we get a new criminal adventure for him.
1 Do: The Series Finale Hallucination Theory
New Yorker writer has Emily Nussbaum theorized that the series finale of Breaking Bad never really happened. Walter White actually died in the episode before, frozen to death in the car he couldn’t start.
Her theory relies largely on the idea that everything ends just a little too neatly: Jesse escapes, Walt sees his son, Skyler gets the lottery numbers, etc. To Nussbaum, everything makes more sense if everything in the final episode was Walter’s dream/hallucination as he died. Why do we love this theory? Well, it leaves a lot of ambiguity open for the new movie. And it definitely works for the “escape for freedom” part of the IMDb summary. Maybe Jesse still needs to escape, and this movie is going to force Jesse to rally and figure out how to escape and stop the neo-Nazis on his own.