Better Call Saul
|Better Call Saul|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location(s)||Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Sony Pictures Television|
|Related shows||Breaking Bad|
Better Call Saul is an upcoming American comedy-drama television series scheduled to premiere on AMC in early 2015. The series was created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, and is a spin-off of Gilligan's Breaking Bad. Set in 2002, it focuses on the life of small-time lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) six years before his appearance on Breaking Bad, though events during and after the original series will also be explored.
In July 2012, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan hinted at a possible spin-off series focusing on Goodman.
In April 2013, the spin-off series was confirmed to be in development by Gilligan and Gould; the latter wrote the episode that introduced the character. Gilligan had considered it in a July 2012 interview: "I like the idea of a lawyer show in which the main lawyer will do anything it takes to stay out of a court of law. He'll settle on the courthouse steps, whatever it takes to stay out of the courtroom. That would be fun—I would like that."
In July 2013, Gilligan commented that the series had yet to be green-lit, but he and Gould are "full speed ahead on trying to get going." As negotiations with AMC continued, Netflix stepped in to provide web syndication. Gould will serve as showrunner and Gilligan will direct the pilot. Former Breaking Bad writers Thomas Schnauz and Gennifer Hutchison joined the writing staff, with Schnauz serving as co-executive producer and Hutchison as supervising producer. In December 2013, Netflix announced that the entire first season will be available for streaming in the US and Canada after the airing of the first season finale, and in Latin America and Europe shortly after the US series premiere.
In developing the series, the producers considered giving the show a half-hour format, but ultimately decided on an hour-long format. The spin-off will be produced by Sony Pictures Television and AMC, air on AMC, and serve as a prequel to Breaking Bad. During his appearance on Talking Bad, Odenkirk noted that Saul was one of the most popular characters on the show, speculating that the audience likes the character because he is the program's least hypocritical figure, and is good at his job. Better Call Saul will also employ Breaking Bad's signature time jump.
As filming began on June 2, 2014 in Albuquerque (where Breaking Bad was filmed as well), Vince Gilligan expressed some concern regarding the possible disappointment from the series' turnout, in terms of audience reception.
On June 19, 2014, AMC announced that it renewed the series for a second season of 13 episodes, with the first season to consist of 10 episodes, and that the series premiere had been delayed to the first quarter of 2015.
Bob Odenkirk reprises his role as Saul Goodman, the titular character of the show. In January 2014, it was announced that Jonathan Banks would reprise his role as Mike Ehrmantraut as a series regular. Aaron Paul announced having had "serious talks" with Gilligan for possible guest appearances, but later told The Huffington Post it was not going to happen. Dean Norris, another Breaking Bad alumnus, announced that he would not be appearing, partly due to his involvement in the CBS series Under the Dome. Anna Gunn also mentioned a "talk" with Gilligan over possible guest appearances. Michael McKean, who previously guest starred on an episode of Odenkirk's Mr. Show, joined the cast, portraying Saul's brother Chuck. Other characters who have been cast include Patrick Fabian as Hamlin, Rhea Seehorn as Kim, and Michael Mando as Nacho. Two further as-of-yet uncast characters, Zak and Luke, are simply described as "twin skateboarders".
Cast and characters
- Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, whose real name is Jimmy McGill, a small-time lawyer looking for his destiny. When preparing to portray Saul in Breaking Bad, Odenkirk based the character on film producer Robert Evans.
"I thought about Robert Evans because I've listened to The Kid Stays in the Picture on CD. He's constantly switching up his cadence and his delivery. He emphasizes interesting words. He has loads of attitude in almost every line that he says. So when I rehearse the scenes alone I do my impersonation of Robert Evans to find those moments and turns. Then I go out and I do Saul."
- Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut, Saul's private investigator. This is also a reprisal of a Breaking Bad character.
- Michael McKean as Chuck McGill, Saul's brother
- Rhea Seehorn as Kim
- Patrick Fabian as Hamlin
- Michael Mando as Nacho
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