While fans have been given little confirmation of the cast of the upcoming Breaking Bad spin-off series, Better Call Saul, a recent interview with Vince Gilligan (creator and co-creator of both series, respectively) hinted at the return of certain characters.
While he knows that many former Breaking Bad cast members have been working on new projects, he hopes to have Jonathan Banks return as former cop-turned-hitman and all-around badass Mike Ehrmantraut. Gilligan explains:
“The character that springs to mind would be Mike. 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 [Gould] and I to get some of these folks pinned down for another TV show.”
Gilligan and Gould are currently figuring out how to piece together the fractured timeline of Better Call Saul, which is set in the pre-Walter and Jesse days. Although they have specified that the show is decidedly a prequel, Gilligan and Gould are discussing the possibility of jumping in time in order to feature Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul cameos. Gilligan specifically notes that despite the fractured storyline, “the audience will not be thrown by us jumping around in time,” as a non-chronological plotline was used in Breaking Bad.
One issue that the co-creators seem to be grappling with is that of a self-satisfied main character.
“[T]he thing we realize is tricky with the character is that Saul Goodman is very comfortable in his own skin. He seems to be a character who is pretty happy with himself, especially when we first meet him. He seems to be a pretty happy-go-lucky guy, and that makes him everything that Walter White is not. And that also makes for tricky drama. When I say drama, even in a comedy, you want drama, you want tension and conflict, and a character that at heart seems at peace with himself is intrinsically undramatic.”
Gilligan did explain that he had one regret about Breaking Bad.
“I wish Jesse’s teeth had been a little more realistic, a little more messed up. But on the other hand, Aaron is such a good-looking guy that maybe that counts as poetic license that we kept his teeth looking nice.” Despite this undeniably trivial slip of less-than-realism, Gilligan does seem to be happy with the ending of Breaking Bad. Gilligan notes that he and his team of writers focus on one phrase that drives their work: “be satisfying.” This creed served them well in Breaking Bad and it will certainly aid them in the creation of Better Call Saul. According to Gilligan, “It has to stand on its own two legs as its own series, otherwise there’s no point in doing it. [I]t will have to succeed on its own terms as its own show. If it doesn’t, it won’t be satisfying, and satisfaction is the key word. We want to satisfy.”