Vince Gilligan talks 'Breaking Bad' spin-off 'Better Call Saul'

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Image Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC

It’s been more than two weeks since Breaking Bad signed off the air, which means that now is as good as any time to turn attention to AMC’s Breaking Bad spin-off featuring unscrupulous lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk). In a meaty profile of Vince Gilligan in The Hollywood Reporter, the Breaking Bad creator dropped a few notable hints about the architecture of Better Caul Saul.

Gilligan and Breaking Bad co-executive producer Peter Gould — who created the character of Saul with him in season 2 and will serve as the showrunner of Better Call Saul — were initially planned to craft the series as a half–hour comedy. Ultimately, though, they decided that they were more comfortable working with Bad‘s familiar hourlong drama format — and visual aesthetic. “So we figured, ‘Why not shoot Saul in the same way?'” said Gilligan. “‘Let’s shoot it in Albuquerque, let’s get as much of the crew back together as possible, and let’s do it the way we did it before so that it will be of a piece with that pre-existing fictional universe that we had so much fun creating.'”

The show, which will be set in the offices of Saul Goodman, will adhere to a 75 percent comedy/25 percent drama ratio. The biggest challenge for Gilligan and Gould so far has been in formulating the dramatic heft and conflict for the wisecracking Goodman, who has largely served as Bad‘s comic relief. “We’ve had to find the ongoing itch that Saul needs to scratch, so to speak, or else we wouldn’t have much of a show,” noted Gilligan.

If you’ve been holding out hope that some of the Breaking Bad actors might pop up here and there on this prequel, you may be pleasantly surprised. “Personally, I’d have a hard time resisting putting all these guys in for a cameo or two every now and then,” said Gilligan, who plans to hire a few writers from Bad as well. Gilligan, who will direct the pilot, aims to be in the writers room through Saul‘s first season before possibly focusing on other projects. (He also has a deal with CBS to make 13 episodes of detective drama Battle Creek, which is based on a never-produced pilot script that he wrote for CBS in 2002. House creator David Shore will be Battle Creek‘s showrunner.)

AMC is looking to debut Better Call Saul in late summer or early fall of 2014.

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