Though fans of AMC’s Breaking Bad are likely still coming down off a meth-like high induced by the show’s brilliant finale “Felina” (check out our review here) last fall, show creator Vince Gilligan is currently hard at work on an upcoming spin-off series called Better Call Saul, which is set to focus on the misadventures of skeevy criminal lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk).
During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gilligan revealed that Better Call Saul may relate more closely to the narrative of Breaking Bad than previously realized. The showrunner hinted in October that the door was open for Breaking Bad protagonists Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) to make cameo appearances, and now he has picked one key player from the original series whom he wants to see pop up on Better Call Saul: professional ‘cleaner’ Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks).
Gilligan was quoted as saying the following:
The character that springs to mind [for a role in the spin-off series] would be Mike (Jonathan Banks). That would be a great deal of fun. I would say the sky’s the limit, at least theoretically speaking. Realistically speaking, we’ve got a whole lot of actors, and the world is now well-aware of their wonderful talents and abilities, and therefore Breaking Bad has probably made it tougher for Peter and I to get some of these folks pinned down for another TV show. They’re off making big movies and doing Broadway plays and whatnot, and that’s exactly the way it should be. That is a high-class problem that we will have to contend with as we go forward with Better Call Saul, if we do indeed want to touch base with some of these characters… Better Call Saul could be The Love Boat of its generation, where instead of Milton Berle showing up in a sailor’s cap, hopefully it could be Aaron Paul, also in a sailor’s cap. [Laughs]
Given that the character took a fatal bullet from Walter White in the season 5 episode “Say My Name,” news that Gilligan wants Mike back would suggest that Better Call Saul will be set before Breaking Bad, but Gilligan clarified that the show won’t be a straightforward prequel:
We think, by and large, this show will be a prequel, but the wonderful thing about the fractured chronology we employed on ‘Breaking Bad’ for many years is the audience will not be thrown by us jumping around in time. So it’s possible that we may indeed do that, and we’ll see the past and perhaps the future. Nothing is written in stone yet, we’re still figuring it out…
It would certainly be interesting to see what lies ahead for Saul following the spectacular downfall of Walter White in Breaking Bad‘s final season, which last saw the character heading to Nebraska to start a new life. However, bringing Mike back into the picture could also be a great thing for Better Call Saul, so the fact that Gilligan is keeping his options open in terms of time-frame is a very promising sign. Whichever approach he ends up taking, fans of the original series should be in for a treat, given that Breaking Bad scribes Thomas Schnauz and Gennifer Hutchison are returning to write for the spin-off.
Also in the EW interview, Gilligan touched upon fan theories that the events of Breaking Bad could have been a dream. Those theories were given air time last year when the Breaking Bad Blu-Ray set featured a fun ‘alternate’ ending in which it was implied that the entire series had been dreamt up by Malcolm in the Middle character Hal (Bryan Cranston). Gilligan said:
…when I heard anecdotally that a lot of people were of the belief that the whole thing had been a dream, then I was kind of scratching my head because that to me as a fan of storytelling, that to me, is the antithesis of a satisfying ending. The whole thing was a dream? [Laughs] The only time the ‘It was all a dream’ bit worked out well was the first time it was used. The first time that I know of was in the old Ambrose Bierce short story ‘An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.’ It worked beautifully in that short story from  years ago. It does not work well to a modern audience. It certainly doesn’t work well for me that these people I’ve invested all my care and close attention to for years on end, that nothing they’ve accomplished happened to be real: It was all some bulls— dream. [Laughs] I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ Who would find that… what’s the word?… fulfilling?”
There you have it, folks. In case any of you were unclear, the events of Breaking Bad were not a dream.
Better Call Saul will hit AMC sometime next year. Netflix has signed a deal to stream the show internationally soon after episodes air on television. We’ll keep you posted as more details about the spin-off emerge.
Tell us, are you excited to see Gilligan return to the Breaking Bad universe with Better Call Saul? And which characters from the original series would you bring back for the spin-off? Let us know in the comments section!
Source: The Playlist