Walter White's Breaking Bad death has been definitively confirmed by the trailer for El Camino. Starring Bryan Cranston as White, Breaking Bad tells the story of a regular high school science teacher rocked by a terminal cancer diagnosis. Wanting to ensure his family's financial future, White teams up with Aaron Paul's Jesse Pinkman, using his scientific prowess to cook up high-grade methamphetamine and inadvertently starting an international drug empire. Walt's lung cancer worsens over the course of Breaking Bad's two-year time span, and the antihero eventually succumbs to his injuries in the final episode, "Felina," collapsing in the familiar embrace of a meth lab.
Despite this fairly definitive conclusion, many fans suggested that Walt might have survived beyond this scene, recovering or receiving medical attention after his collapse. This theory gained traction following the announcement of a Breaking Bad movie, eventually revealed under the title El Camino earlier this year. While the cast and plot of El Camino has largely been keep secret, the continuation of the story fueled rumors of Cranston's return and reinvigorated the notion that Walt might not have died in "Felina."
That theory has apparently now been put to rest. In a brand new El Camino trailer shown during the 2019 Emmy Awards, Jesse is seen sitting in his titular vehicle shortly after escaping the Nazi compound that had enslaved him as a meth cook. Listening to the radio, news of the shootout is rife, and the announcer reveals that, "when Albuquerque police arrived, they discovered the bodies of 9 male victims." The emphasis and prominence of this line suggests some layer of deeper meaning and essentially acts as confirmation that Walter White is indeed dead.
In Breaking Bad's climactic final moments, Walt takes down the Nazi gang keeping Jesse prisoner. His victims here comprise of Jack, the leader, as well as Kenny, Matt, Frankie, Lester and two other unnamed goons. Along with Todd, who is strangled by Jesse, this makes a total of 8 people, leaving Walter White as the only possible ninth body.
In Vince Gilligan's Breaking Bad universe, very little is included by accident, and this trailer line feels like a deliberate attempt to dampen any expectations fans have that Walt could be alive and kicking in El Camino. With such intense speculation regarding the character's fate, the audience runs the risk of setting themselves up for a fall by eagerly waiting for Walt to appear with his trademark hat and a T-shirt shifting quip, only to be disappointed when he doesn't feature. This would take the focus away from Jesse's story and whatever other delights El Camino has in store. Thanks to the confirmation of Walt's death in the El Camino trailer, however, viewers can head into the movie under no illusion that Walt somehow survived.
Of course, Walt's death doesn't necessarily rule out Jesse dreaming or hallucinating an appearance by Bryan Cranston. The secrecy surrounding El Camino indicates that at least some surprises await and Jesse's tattered mental and physical state could certainly have him seeing ghosts while on the run from the law. This would also account for the rumors suggesting Krysten Ritter, who portrayed Jesse's lover, Jane, was set to return in El Camino.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie premieres October 11th on Netflix.