For most fans of AMC’s Emmy Award-winning hit Breaking Bad, the show’s creator, Vince Gilligan, pulled off the near improbable feat of satisfying audiences’ lofty expectations by masterfully tying up the drama’s loose ends in a fitting and appropriate conclusion. While the highly-praised finale seemed to answer all of fans’ burning questions, there was still one that remained: What would Gilligan do next?
Laying Breaking Bad and the world he created to rest couldn’t have been easy for Gilligan, but fortunately, he found a way to at least keep his twisted vision of the American Southwest alive with the spin-off prequel series centered around fan-favorite character Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkrik), titled Better Call Saul. Now that AMC has announced it is officially moving forward with the project, Gilligan was able to shed more light on the new show this week.
In talking with THR, Gilligan reiterated that the spin-off will be a much more comedic effort when compared to his last series with the network, but added that he is planning to use a similar visual style and many of the same collaborators who helped make Breaking Bad one of the best looking shows on television.
When discussing his and Better Call Saul co-creator Peter Gould’s approach to the show, Gilligan said:
“We’re both one-hour drama guys. So we figured, ‘Why not shoot Saul in the same way?’ Let’s shoot it in Albuquerque, let’s get as much of the crew back together as possible, and let’s do it the way we did it before so that it will be of a piece with that pre-existing fictional universe that we had so much fun creating.”
Narratively speaking, Gilligan admitted that there is much more work to be done, as the show’s plot hasn’t been outlined yet. While Gilligan said he envisions being in the writer’s room himself for the majority of the show’s first season, he is hoping to convince some of Breaking Bad‘s scribes to return and help create compelling narrative throughlines for the Goodman character, which has been a challenge so far.
“We’ve had to find the ongoing itch that Saul needs to scratch, so to speak, or else we wouldn’t have much of a show.”
The sleazy offbeat lawyer character certainly worked well in playing off the intensity of Walter White, but the question many are posing is: Can Goodman carry a series on his own? The character’s skewed moral compass and criminal clientele should generate plenty of interesting conflicts as well as dramatic tension – and if Gilligan is able to round up some of the great minds behind Breaking Bad, there’s little doubt they could develop new characters to complement Goodman’s sly persona.
As for old characters, Gilligan said he expects to include several in the prequel series as well – at least in cameo roles. None of the Breaking Bad cast members are confirmed to be returning (besides Odenkirk), but Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have reportedly expressed interest, which makes the excitable Gilligan giddy at the prospect of seeing their characters before they broke bad.
“Personally, I’d have a hard time resisting putting all these guys in for a cameo or two every now and then.”
The show is expected to assemble its writing staff soon, so many questions and concerns regarding the story, characters and possible cameos could be answered in the coming months.
Check back in for Better Call Saul updates as the project moves along.