Bryan Cranston returns as Walter White in first image of 'Breaking Bad' PopCorners Super Bowl ad
Heisenberg is back, but the timing is a bit worrisome.
The Super Bowl is still over a month away, but that didn't stop Frito-Lay from releasing the first image of their massive PopCorners big game ad. For this year's festivities, the snack company hired the services of drug lord Walter White (Bryan Cranston), which AdAge launched in December, to peddle the white cheddar popcorn mix potato chips. Now that the full Heisenberg image has been revealed, Cranston returns to the desert in his signature hat, glasses, button-down shirt and jacket ensemble, with a bag of PopCorners in hand.
Cranston wrapped up his first iconic role in Breaking Bad in 2013, though few have forgotten his Emmy-winning performance since then. Since then, he's reprized guest roles on El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie and last year's final season of Better Call Saul, finally fulfilling fan requests by having Walt and Jesse (Aaron Paul) join Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) meet) again. Outside of the Breaking Bad universe, he's found plenty of recent collaborations with Jerry & Marge Go Large and Showtime's Your Honor, as well as Wes Anderson's upcoming film Asteroid City, which premiered on June 16.
While this would be the first time Walt sold refreshments, it certainly wasn't Cranston's. He and Paul recently teamed up on their Dos Hombres mezcal, which was rolled out in bars across the U.S. last year. The pair also shot commercials for the alcoholic beverage, including for Illinois-based Binny's Beverage Depot, to reach a wider audience.
Starting the Super Bowl promotion so early still seems like an odd choice, even considering the star power involved. Typically, previews of big game ads are saved a week or so before the game to build anticipation immediately before the game starts. The PopCorners are rushing to get everyone ready for their Super Bowl debut, even though there's another, more dire reason for making an early cut feel so out of place.
The Breaking Bad Ad Image Comes Amidst a Tragic Moment in NFL History
While it was cool to see Heisenberg back on the field, the preview comes at a troubled time for the NFL. Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field after a tackle on Monday night in one of the most horrific and heartbreaking moments in the history of the sport . He remains in a critical condition in hospital, with no clear indication when, or If so, he can recover. When a player is still fighting for his life after an accident in front of millions of viewers, including Hamlin's teammates and family, turning to commercials for big games is not the same thing advertisers or leagues should be saying The information is far from being sent now. The timing couldn't be worse.
As of today, Hamlin appears to be making small steps, but he's still in dire shape. The silver lining of it all is the generosity of fans, players, etc. for his injury. Hamlin's charity, The Chasing M's Foundation Community Toy Drive, received more than $6 million in donations following his injury. Across the league, teams and individual players rallied in support of Hamlin, with many sending him well wishes online and in person. Fans also gathered outside his hospital for a prayer meeting to wish the youngster a speedy recovery.
The Super Bowl is currently scheduled for February 13.