Ever since the triumphant conclusion of Breaking Bad, fans have been pining for concrete details on the show’s upcoming prequel spinoff, Better Call Saul, which focuses on the exploits of criminal lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) before his initial meeting with meth mastermind Walter White. And in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan offered some intriguing info about the new series, which he is co-creating with writer-director Peter Gould.
“There’s obviously a danger inherent in doing a spinoff, but I just love the character of Saul Goodman so much, and part of me doesn’t want to say no to this world,” Gilligan says.
While he and Gould originally envisioned Better Call Saul as a half-hour sitcom, they eventually settled on the hour-long format, which will allow them to utilize the same kind of visual splendor they demonstrated on Breaking Bad. In fact, they plan to craft Saul based on a similar template to their acclaimed meth-drama, and they’re even hoping to land a couple cameo appearances from Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.
“We’re both one-hour drama guys,” Gilligan says, “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.”
The general gameplan is to reverse the drama-to-comedy ratio they employed on Breaking Bad, using roughly 75 percent comedy and 25 percent drama. But Gilligan admits they’ve had difficulties finding the show’s darker undercurrents, given that Odenkirk and his character are known primarily for comic relief.
“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.”
Better Call Saul will air on AMC, though the network almost lost the rights to the show in a battle with Netflix and FX, among others. Meanwhile, CBS is moving forward with 13 episodes of the police drama Battle Creek, based on a previously rejected script Gilligan wrote a decade ago; that series will be written, produced, and overseen by House creator David Shore.