** Breaking Bad spoilers follow! Do not read on if you haven't already seen it!**
From the moment he first grumbled on camera, Jonathan Banks’ surly, straight-shooting (in more ways than one) fixer Mike Ehrmantraut was a highlight of Breaking Bad. So we’re delighted to see he’ll be popping up in the show’s prequel, Better Call Saul.
Originally created as a one-episode replacement for Bob Odenkirk, Banks quickly became a fan favourite. “Mike Ehrmantraut was a happy accident in itself,” Cranston told Vanity Fair. “When Jane died in the show, it was scripted that Saul Goodman was going to come over and take care of things. But Bob Odenkirk was not available. He was working on some other show at the time, and he could not make it out to set. So the writers regrouped and re-thought about it and wondered, ‘Would Saul Goodman do this anyway?’ 'No, he would have a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy.’”
Banks represents the latest casting for the new show, which has Odenkirk set to star in the story of slimy lawyer Saul’s work before he meets Cranston’s Walter White or Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman. There’ll be some timeline crossover too, as Bad/Saul show runner Vince Gilligan has said he wants to have Cranston and Paul cameo.
With Gilligan, Peter Gould and their writing team (including fellow Breaking Bad veterans Thomas Schanuz and Gennifer Hutchinson) hard at work, Better Call Saul is set to hit screens later this year.