There’s an alternative universe 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 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 commercial stars Bryan Cranston as Walter White, and he’s not alone. Aaron Paul is Jesse, and Raymond Cruz is back as Tuco Salamanca. Together, the three transform the hit drama into a hilarious commercial about snacks.
Seriously, the commercial recreates some iconic scenes from Breaking Bad. “Yo, these are the bomb!” shouts Jesse after inspecting a glass tray of chips. “And they are air-popped, not fried,” says Walter White, long before he adopted the Heisenberg persona. “You’re an artist!” says Jesse, to which Mr. White says, “It’s just basic ingredients.” White also pointed out how “we don’t eat our own supply.” Enter Tuco to repeat his “Tight, tight, tight!” exclamation from the show. “We’ve got six signature flavors,” says Jesse. “SEVEN. YOU MAKE SEVEN!” shouts Tuco. “Seven works,” remarks Walt.
This is the closes that fans will get to see Tuco in action again. “I say it with trepidation, because it wasn’t easy to do the first time,” Raymond Cruz told HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview. “It wasn’t easy to reprise it on Better Call Saul. And it definitely was not easy to do in the PopCorners ad. It’s so taxing on you. It’s so high energy. Even when Tuco’s not saying anything, it’s bubbling underneath.”
There are even more Breaking Bad goodies in the extended sixty-second commercial. “PopCorners’ desire to create a genuine extension of the franchise and a campaign that would really excite ‘Breaking Bad’ fans is what brought us back for this Super Bowl commercial,” said Cranston in a press release, per AdAge. “Walt would’ve been immediately drawn to the basic ingredients in PopCorners, so ‘Breaking Good’ made perfect sense as an alternate storyline that would’ve been much better for him and Jesse.”
The RV is back too. “You’re going to flood it,” says Walter as Jesse tries to get the RV to start in a preview. “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)
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.”
“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.Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.