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Walter White’s El Camino cameo required a private jet and digital magic

on October 14, 2019, 3:00pm

Note: Spoilers ahead

After months of teasing, Bryan Cranston returned as Walter White in Netflix’s El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. However, bringing the award-winning icon back to life required some legitimate movie-making magic, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

But first, some context (and major spoilers): In the film, Cranston reunites with his co-star Aaron Paul during an emotional flashback set during the events of Season 2, Episode 9 episode “4 Days Out”. The two break bread at an off-road diner.

It’s a surprisingly tender moment between Walt and Jesse, one that warranted similar tenderness behind the scenes. In fact, you might say Vince Gilligan and his team had to come up with their own Walter White-esque scheme to maintain secrecy.

(Read: Breaking Bad‘s 10 Most Brilliant Schemes)

Here were the issues from the onset: 1.) They only had Cranston for a day, due to his commitments to a Broadway production of Network, 2.) Cranston would not be able to shave his head, and 3.) He could not fly commercially without being noticed.

To resolve that short laundry list of predicaments, Gilligan and his team leased a private jet, which flew Cranston out Sunday evening following his performance and back to New York on Tuesday morning, giving them all of Monday to shoot said scene.

As with any plan in Breaking Bad lore, there were a couple of irritating complications: 1.) Cranston’s bald cap didn’t work (despite years of proving otherwise) and 2.) curious locals managed to uncover the iconic RV outside the real-life location.

(Read: El Camino Offers an Affecting Epilogue for Breaking Bad Fans)

Leaning on their wits — after all, this is the team who conceived of Saul Goodman, for Christ’s sake — they managed to use digital FX to ultimately sell audiences on Cranston’s bald cap and blamed the RV on a local business offering Breaking Bad tours.

“I give all credit to our producers,” Gilligan told The Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t want to brag too much about all the great work they did, because someone’s going to read this and say, ‘I’m going to go hack this thing right now.’ And then who knows?”

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is currently streaming on Netflix.

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