In less than a month, the Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul will premiere on AMC. However, any fans hoping to see Walter White or Jesse Pinkman inhabit the sordid world of dirty lawyer Saul Goodman might be disappointed: At the Television Critics Association panel in Pasadena, California, co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould revealed that the characters made famous by actors Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul won’t appear on Better Call Saul‘s first season, Entertainment Weekly reports.
“In the spirit of full disclosure, Walt and Jesse will not appear in season one,” Gould told the panel. “Having said that, everything else is on the table.” Gilligan and Gould have long teased that characters from Breaking Bad might pop up into the Bob Odenkirk-starring show. Aaron Paul was previously rumored to be joining Better Call, and Bad regular Jonathan Banks, who portrayed lovable hitman Mike Ehrmantraut on that series, secured a steady role on Better Call Saul. However, Gilligan and Gould are reluctant to force Breaking Bad characters into Saul Goodman’s story.
“The short answer is: The sky is the limit and any of these characters could conceivably show up in future seasons. But the intention is it will feel proper and organic, because if it feels like a stunt then something has gone terribly wrong in the writers’ room,” Gilligan added. “To be completely honest, I want to see them all eventually. There’s a constant tension of, ‘Man, this would be fun to do, but would it just be a stunt?'”
Gilligan also revealed that – since Better Call Saul precedes the events in Breaking Bad – it’d be difficult to shoehorn a younger Jesse Pinkman into the plot. Perhaps to make amends for the lack of Walter and Jesse, AMC unveiled an extended Better Call Saul trailer, featuring more footage of Odenkirk’s Goodman reenacting Ned Beatty’s famed Network monologue. The trailer also shows Mike, in his pre-hitman days, as a parking garage attendant.
At the Television Critics Association panel, Gilligan also discussed the visual differences between the two series. While Breaking Bad readily relied on a handheld camera, Gilligan said “This time the camera always tends to be static and locked down. It almost feels like [Saul] is struggling against the corners of the frame,” EW writes. Despite not airing until February 8th, Better Call Saul has already been renewed for a second season.