As we creep ever closer to the end of Breaking Bad, sniffling, weeping and trying to strike deals with unearthly demons for just one more year of Walter White and co, it appears we may not have to say goodbye to Vince Gilligan’s superb universe altogether. The planned spin-off focused on slimy lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) is now closer to becoming a reality.
HitFix’s Alan Sepinwall reports that US network AMC has struck a licensing deal with Sony Television, which produces Breaking Bad, to set up Better Call Saul. It'll act as a prequel, so we’d get to see the evolution of the man we first met in the episode of the same name back in Season 2.
Assuming deals are hatched with Breaking Bad overlord Vince Gilligan and Saul creator Peter Gould, this is one that could go straight to series, given the goodwill generated by the parent show.
Of course, like so many spin-offs (Joey, anyone?) the idea is fraught with the possibility that it may not live up to the level of the original, and Breaking Bad sets the bar very high indeed. But when we talked to Gilligan about the idea, he sounded positive and assured us he’d put every effort into making it as good as it can be: “You never assume lightning is going to strike twice. Having said that, I think a Saul Goodman show would be a great deal of fun, and a great challenge, and something I would look forward to doing.
"It’s definitely not set in stone yet, it’s definitely the early days of the process, and it may happen or it may not. I personally would like to see it happen, because I think it would be its own creation and its own creature, and I think it would exist in a Breaking Bad universe, as it centres on a character that was integral to Breaking Bad, but I think it’s its own thing. It’s like comparing an apple to an orange. Or white meth to blue meth."
"We would do out very best to make it a very good show indeed, as we always do with Breaking Bad, but if it doesn’t come out quite as good then… well, we’ll move heaven and earth to make it every bit as high quality as Breaking Bad, but then there’s the intangible question of whether it’ll affect people, whether it’ll move people as much as the mothership show did, and there’s no real answer to that. In fact, the safest answer to that is: 'Probably not to the same level.'"
Given Saul’s basic nature, it’ll be a good deal more comedic than the adventures of Heisenberg and co (for all of Breaking Bad’s pitch dark humour).
If all this talk of Breaking Bad has you craving more on the show, you need to check out our interviews with the cast and crew right here.