'Breaking Bad' Prequel Spinoff 'Better Call Saul' Gets The Green Light
AMC announced that it will be going forward with a Breaking Bad spin-off series focusing on Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), Walter White’s lawyer, Better Call Saul.
The show, rumored to be titled Better Call Saul (the lawyer’s slogan of choice), would be a sort of prequel to Breaking Bad about Goodman’s life before he became Walter White’s attorney. Creator Vince Gilligan is reportedly developing the spin-off with executive producer Peter Gould.
Rumors of a potential spin-off have been circulating for quite some time, and Gilligan first floated the idea of a Saul Goodman spin-off over a year ago.
“I would love to see a Saul Goodman spin-off show when it’s all said and done. I think that would present itself pretty nicely, storywise. While Breaking Bad is by design a show that is finite and limited in its scope – it’s a story of transformation that cannot go on forever – I think a Saul Goodman show could have great legs. I love the idea of a lawyer who will do anything to avoid going to court. He’s always going to settle on the courthouse steps,” Gilligan told EW in July 2011.
Neither Gilligan, Gould nor Odenkirk has released a statement on the upcoming spin-off, but AMC and Sony released a statement on Wednesday confirming that they had reached a licensing agreement for the spin-off:
“AMC and Sony Pictures Television confirmed today that they have reached a licensing agreement for a spinoff of Vince Gilligan’s landmark AMC/SPT series Breaking Bad. As conceived, the new series is based on the show’s popular Saul Goodman character with the working title Better Call Saul. Plans call for Saul to be a one-hour prequel that will focus on the evolution of the popular Saul Goodman character before he ever became Walter White’s lawyer.”
In an interview, Gould teased that, should a Saul Goodman spin-off get the green light, fans should expect it to differ slightly from Breaking Bad in tone, but can also expect a similar exploration of the morality of its main character.
“So much of Breaking Bad is about playing out ideas of morality and how you live in the world, and this is a guy who has a philosophy which is internally consistent but is also kind of strange. In addition to the fact that he always amuses us and we’re always ready to see more, the guy is a problem solver. He solves problems in his own way. He’s just as innovative as Walt is, so that really gives us a lot of stories and a lot of places to go with him,” Gould told EW.
Odenkirk, who has portrayed Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad for four years – since Season 2 – hinted that he would love to keep playing Saul if the opportunity arose.
“[Playing Saul has] been the greatest fun challenge of my life and I want to do that again. I’ll be thrilled if I get to do it,” Odenkirk said in an interview with EW.
Fans should be warned: just because the character of Saul Goodman will live on in the Better Call Saul spin-off, it does not guarantee Saul Goodman will live to see the end of the final Breaking Bad season.
“No viewer should breathe a sigh of relief that Saul won’t expire by the end of Breaking Bad… Saul has got to survive this show first. And if he doesn’t, then maybe it can be done as a prequel,” Gilligan warned fans last July.
Could the news of the prequel spin-off mean Saul Goodman will meet his end before the series finale of Breaking Bad?
Breaking Bad continues its fifth and final season with "Ozymandias" Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
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