Bryan Cranston & Aaron Paul Bring Back Walter & Jesse For PopCorners’ ‘Breaking Bad’ Super Bowl Ad
There's an alternative univ
erse where Walter White turns to baking instead of cooking, leading himself to become not a drug kingpin but a snack mogul. Such a world was glimpsed in the previews for PopCorners' debut Super Bowl commercial. After the brand teased that it would have a Breaking Bad-themed spin on the spot airing during Super Bowl LVII (on Feb. 12), the first teasers show that, yes, Bryan Cranston is back as Walter White, and he's not alone. Aaron Paul will reprise Jesse, and Raymond Cruz is back as Tuco Salamanca.
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The RV is back too. "You're going to flood it," says Walter as Jesse tries to get the RV to start. In Walter's hand is a sky-blue bag of White Cheddar PopCorners chips. "I'm not going to flood it," says Jesse, dressed in his trademark coat and knit cap. "That, to my ear, distinctively sounds distinctly like flooding," says the shaved-head Walter as he takes a bite of a PopCorners chip. However, Jesse gets the van to turn over. Still, Walt isn't impressed. "Even a blind squirrel..."
The other available teaser shows Jesse seated in one of two lawn chairs outside the Winnebago. Jesse has a blue bag of PopCorners open on his lap as he fields a phone call. "Yo, what's up?" he asks. If the teasers have the feel of a Breaking Bad episode, it's because show creator Vince Gillian directs the commercial. The commercial will take place in a reimagined scene from Season 2's episode "4 Days Out."
"We are excited to revive one of the most famous television shows of all time to tell the PopCorners' story for the first time at the Super Bowl," said Frito-Lay VP of marketing Rhasheda Boyd after the first image hinted at Cranston reprising his iconic role, "and we can't wait to see fans' reactions to who and what's coming." (h/t Entertainment Weekly)
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Breaking Bad concluded its main story in 2013 before spinning off with 2019's El Camino: A Breaking Bad Story and the recently completed Better Call Saul. In a January 2023 episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, Bryan reflected on his time on the career-shifting, award-winning show, particularly one episode [SPOILER ALERT] that shook him to the core.
In the episode titled "Phoenix," Walter finds Jesse, who had become addicted to heroin, in bed with his girlfriend Jane (Krysten Ritter), who had previously blackmailed Walt over the money he owed Jesse (which Walt didn't want to give unless his partner was clean.) "I did a scene on Breaking Bad where I was watching a woman die in the second season," said Cranston, per ScreenRant "and [despite] being prepared for that, all of a sudden, her face left, and the face of my real daughter showed up, and I was watching my real daughter die. It choked me."
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"For about two or three seconds, I saw my daughter's face and ... it choked me up, and that went away, and Krysten Ritter's face came back, and there she was, and it was like, 'Oh my god.' It is an emotional risk that actors go through, we have to put ourselves in a position of vulnerability for that to possibly happen, because you're willing to go into the unknown," he added.