'Better Call Saul' Creators Reveal New Details, Talk Timeline

"You saw from 'Breaking Bad' that we like nonlinear storytelling. We like jumping around in time," says Vince Gilligan

Better Call Saul
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Executive producers/writers Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan.
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The creators of the upcoming Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul dropped a few more tantalizing details about the new series on Friday. In an appearance at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould dished out a little new information while discussing some of the challenges they've encountered as they spin a new world around sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman.

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"I thought it was going to be easy," Gilligan said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "'Oh, we know who this guy is.' But we didn't know this guy at all. He was a supporting player. It's an interesting process." 

As for the much-discussed return of characters from Breaking Bad, Gilligan and Gould said that they were currently working on the show's eighth episode and haven't yet brought anyone back. "We’re trying to make something that stands on its own, that has entertainment value not just as seeing a series of old favorites or 'remember when' – not the series equivalent of a clip show," Gould said.

It had already been reported that  Michael McKean would have a part in the series, and Gould elaborated a bit on his role. "McKean plays Bob’s brother," Gould said, according to Variety. "We have these two comedy legends working together. He’s playing Saul’s brother. He’s one of the main characters we’ve introduced. He’s just a tremendous performer and he also answers questions about 'Spinal Tap'."

Although Better Call Saul has been billed as a prequel to Breaking Bad, Gilligan gave strong hints that the timeline of the new show will jump around. "You saw from 'Breaking Bad' that we like nonlinear storytelling," he said. "We like jumping around in time. I would definitely point you in the direction of 'anything that was possible storytelling-wise on Breaking Bad is possible on 'Better Call Saul.'"

Gilligan did say, however, that the series will be based in a starting year of 2002. "I hesitate to say it, but it is indeed a period piece," he said. "I can’t believe it myself – it’s like it was yesterday, but it was 12 years ago."

Gilligan took the opportunity to blame himself for the fact that the series premiere has been delayed from November until early 2015. "We could have made the deadline, but I am slow as mud," he said. "I still feel I'm very slow for television." Gould said that their way of working was slower than most other television shows and described their pace on Breaking Bad as "deliciously stately."