After a startling mid-season cliffhanger, the final eight episodes of AMC's Breaking Bad are set to begin airing on August 11, which means that by the end of 2013, we'll have to say goodbye to Walter White (one way or another). However, Vince Gilligan, the show's creator, isn't done with the world he's invented, and for some time has teased the possibility of a spinoff series.
Gilligan's previous comments on the show - which would be based around the morally-questionable attorney Saul Goodman (played by the frequently scene-stealing Bob Odenkirk) - seemed to add up to wishful thinking at the time, but in a recent interview, Gilligan confirmed that he is definitely moving "full speed ahead" with developing the project, which could end up being a prequel to Breaking Bad, rather than a sequel.
While Gilligan is enthusiastic about the potential of the show, no studio or network has signed off on it yet. Speaking with The Wrap, Gilligan said he intends to pitch the idea to Sony along with Peter Gould, the writer who created Saul in Season 2 and who would apparently be running the spin-off. The only firm idea seems to be that the concept would center around Saul, with a number of ideas regarding the tone and format up in the air, including the notion of making it a half-hour show. According to Gilligan:
There's a way to do both versions of the show. There's a way to make it a half-hour show and make it a little more -- I don’t want to say sitcom-y, but a little more traditionally half-hour comedic. Or there's a way to do it where it fits more snuggly in with the "Breaking Bad" universe, in which it's an hour-long show. As you can imagine with Saul Goodman as a character, a show like that would have to have plenty of humor to it. But also because he works for some pretty scary clientele sometimes, there'd be a bit of drama in it as well. We're trying to nail that down. As of yet, we haven't completely figured that out ourselves.
Gilligan is pretty coy about what he'd do with a sequel series, and has actually made no promises on whether or not Saul will actually survive the show. It would be pretty jarring to see a more comedic take on the grim, tragic universe, with or without Walter White, so the notion of making the show a prequel really opens up more options, including the possible return of Giancarlo Esposito as the menacing meth kingpin Gustavo Fring, an idea Gilligan seems to love:
Any chance I get to work with Giancarlo again, I would jump at the opportunity. He is a wonderful actor and such a sweet guy. … It's kind of one of those "duh" moments where you think, 'Of course he's not Gus Fring, he's an actor. He's a very good actor.' But I still get amazed even after doing this for so many years what a good actor can bring to a character, and how different a good actor can be in real life from the character they portray. Using Giancarlo as an example, this is a guy who is so sweet and kind and sort of tactile – as soon as he sees you he'll bound across the room and give you a big hug. And he's into yoga and he's a very healthy guy. He wears his heart on his sleeve in the best possible way. And yet he can play a guy who's as buttoned-down and cold and businesslike as Gus Fring.
So, prequel or sequel, half-hour or hour-long format, if Gilligan gets his way - and based on the critical and fan love of his now-iconic show, he probably will - we'll get to see more of the Breaking Bad universe. It's an idea which could be a mere novelty in lesser hands, but with the always-welcome Odenkirk at the center, as a lawyer who does his best to avoid the courtroom, this project might end up being a refreshing change of pace even as it revisits and expands on Breaking Bad's darker themes.
Tell us, ScreenRanters: do you want a spin-off at all? If so, prequel or sequel? Sound off in the comments below!
Breaking Bad returns for it's final eight episodes on August 11, 2013 on AMC.
Source: The Wrap