Not long after Breaking Bad ended its acclaimed five-season run, Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould booked a return to the Southwest with the prequel series Better Call Saul. Now preparing for its third season, Saul has also gone on to garner plenty of critical praise for its stars Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks, both of whom reprised their roles as Saul Goodman (or Jimmy McGill, really) and Mike Ehrmantraut. The series has successfully incorporated key elements of its originator while still finding a way to make the story of a gifted scam artist who can’t stop failing upward into something that stands on its own.
Stand on its own though it might, that hasn’t stopped the series from tying Better Call Saul to Breaking Bad in ways that are increasingly important to the narrative tissue that connects the two shows. Season 3 promises to be the most blatant in this regard, bringing on Giancarlo Esposito to reprise the role of drug kingpin Gus Fring, who is in many ways a response to the arrival of Hector ‘Tio’ Salamanca late in season 2. It has also been hinted by Aaron Paul that he may have already filmed an appearance as Jesse Pinkman. And now, Paul’s presumed appearance raises questions as to whether or not the series would ever invite Walter White himself, Bryan Cranston, back for a brief cameo appearance.
While speaking with Moviefone about his animated series Supermansion, Cranston addressed the notion of revisiting his most famous character, answering the question of whether or not he’d be game to reprise the role. Cranston said:
“I don’t know. You could. I actually think it’d be fun. I have not been approached by it. I know that Vince [Gilligan] wouldn’t do anything that would damage the overall brand that he’s worked so hard to develop on a stunt-cast kind of thing. Then I think, “Well, what if it’s just a brush-by? If it’s just two guys in a market. Are those ripe? I don’t know.” We don’t even register that we knew each other three years before we see each other again. That’s life.
It’s actually very honest. It happens. So the bottom line is, I would do it in a second. If Vince wanted me to be on the show, I’d be on the show.”
Cranston is understandably concerned about the effect his return to the role would have on Better Call Saul, and he’s certainly aware that no matter much fun it would be in a fan service-y kind of way, having Walter White on the show would be little more than stunt-casting. Still, if Jesse Pinkman is going to be on, then the floodgates are pretty much open, which is why he offers up some sound examples of how the series could pull something like that off without causing too much of a ruckus.
For its part, Better Call Saul has certainly demonstrated it doesn’t need to have such cameos in order to be successful. Perhaps that’s why, after two acclaimed seasons under their belts, the series’ creators feel comfortable bringing on Breaking Bad‘s heavy hitters. If Gus Fring’s role and Jesse Pinkman’s presumed appearance work out well, can a Walter White cameo be far behind?
Better Call Saul season 3 premieres April 10 on AMC.