Walter White’s story may be coming to an end as “Breaking Bad” begins its final season next month, but for Bob Odenkirk, who stars as lovably slimy Saul Goodman, it could be the beginning of a beautiful spin-off.
On Tuesday, “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan told the Wrap that he and his crew are hard at work on production of a “Breaking Bad” spin-off centered around the show’s sleezy criminal lawyer Goodman (portrayed by Bob Odenkirk) under the working title “Better Call Saul.” The concept isn’t ready for production yet, but Gilligan seems serious about the concept. “It's not a done deal yet, but it's definitely something we're full speed ahead on trying to get going,” Gilligan said.
At the moment, there are two big problems in the production of “Better Call Saul.” For one, the writers aren’t sure if it should serve as a sequel or a prequel to “Breaking Bad." After all, plenty of people have died in “Breaking Bad,” and its entirely possible that Goodman won’t survive the ordeal, meaning that the show will have to be set in the past. Additionally, Gilligan seems a bit unsure about the series’ length.
“There's a way to do both versions of the show. There's a way to make it a half-hour show and make it a little more -- I don’t want to say sitcom-y but a little more traditionally half-hour comedic. Or there's a way to do it where it fits more snuggly in with the "Breaking Bad" universe, in which it's an hour-long show. As you can imagine with Saul Goodman as a character, a show like that would have to have plenty of humor to it. ... As of yet, we haven't completely figured that out ourselves.”
While the format of “Better Call Saul” is still up in the air, Gilligan knows exactly who should serve as executive producer on the show: Peter Gould, who created Goodman back in season two. “Since Peter created the character, it felt more than right to be working with him on this,” Gilligan said. “We are plugging away coming up with a pitch and a take on it for the network and studio, and hopefully everyone will agree that there's a really fun show to be had here. And hopefully we'll get it up and running, and then Peter will run it. I'd love to see that happen.”
Possible show-runner Gould originally created Odenkirk’s character of Goodman for the season two episode “Better Caul Saul!” in which Goodman was introduced as a criminal lawyer able to guide series leads Walt and Jesse through the ins and outs of methamphetamine distribution. Originally just a bit player, Goodman proved so popular with both fans and the crew that he became a major character throughout the series.
If the “Better Call Saul” series does end up as a prequel, it’s possible that Odenkirk won’t be the only actor returning to the “Breaking Bad” universe. Back in April, Giancarlo Esposito, who played meth kingpin Gustavo Fring on “Breaking Bad,” told the Wrap that he would love to reprise his role in another series. Because (spoiler alert!) Fring dies in the season four finale, however, Esposito could only come back in a prequel.
"I would love to go back to that show in some configuration,” Espositio told the Wrap. “I feel as if it's forced it's not going to work. But if it's a natural progression and time allows, I would certainly love to do it." To celebrate the idea of a possible Goodman spin-off, let’s take a look at one of the greatest Goodman moments from “Breaking Bad,” the commercial that introduced Albuquerque’s greatest criminal lawyer to the world at large.