Though Breaking Bad the series is now over, it appears that the Bad universe will live on for some time. AMC sought to extend the life of its incredibly popular drama series by ordering a prequel spinoff focusing on Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman character, and now Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan is working with Better Call Saul showrunner (and creator of the Goodman character) Peter Gould to shape the vision of the series. Initially envisioned as a half-hour comedy, Gilligan now says he and Gould have decided to expand the show to an hourlong format that will be shot in Albuquerque and maintain the visual palette of Breaking Bad. Moreover, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are expected to pop up on Better Call Saul in a cameo capacity, reprising their lead Breaking Bad characters.
Hit the jump for much more, including what Gilligan’s upcoming projects might entail.
As part of an extensive and fascinating profile of the showrunner by THR, Gilligan talked a bit about his plans for Better Call Saul and what the spinoff will entail. Though Gilligan and Gould initially thought about crafting a half-hour comedy series, the duo weren’t comfortable with that format and eventually decided to expand the show to an hourlong series:
“We’re both one-hour drama guys,” he says, but more to the point, they realized that so much of what they enjoyed about Breaking Bad was the show’s visual elements. “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.”
While Breaking Bad was 75% drama and 25% comedy, Better Call Saul is expected to flip that ratio to showcase Saul’s more comedic sensibilities. There will, however, be a more central dramatic throughline, as Gilligan said they needed to find “that ongoing itch that Saul needs to scratch” in order to make the premise sustainable over a longer period of time.
Most exciting is the fact that Cranston and Paul have expressed interest in making appearances on the prequel series, and Gilligan is incredibly game to bring Walter White and Jesse Pinkman back, albeit in their pre-completely messed up states:
“Personally, I’d have a hard time resisting putting all these guys in for a cameo or two every now and then.”
Gilligan will direct the Better Call Saul pilot and says he expects to be in the writers room full-time for at least the show’s first season, with an aim to premiere the series on AMC sometime between August and October of next year. Beyond that, Gilligan intends to write his feature directorial debut once he finally lands on an idea worthy of the effort—he has an eye toward a Western at this point.
He will oversee the drama series Battle Creek at CBS, but House creator David Shore will be running the police drama from day to day, and Gilligan adds that it will quickly be known as Shore’s show. THR also adds that Gilligan’s next television endeavor will likely land on HBO or Netflix given the creative freedom allowed on the pay networks. Whatever Gilligan decides on for his first post-Breaking Bad effort, I think it’s safe to say plenty will be eager to tune in.