Well, that was quick. Yesterday we reported on comments from actor/comedian Bob Odenkirk, who plays the character Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad, about a rumored spin-off focused on that character.
Odenkirk participated in a reddit AMA (along with fellow Mr. Show cast members David Cross and Brian Posehn). This is what he had to say about the show:
Saul spin-off? Don’t know. Really. I trust Vince Gilligan when he says he has a good idea for it, an idea that motivates him to want to work on it. Vince, obviously, can do anything he chooses at this point, so it’s a massive honor that he would put any mental effort into a Saul show. Peter Gould is a Breaking Bad writer who wrote the first script that Saul appeared in, and, I believe, Peter is interested in a possible Saul show. So…that’s a lot of goodwill and energy making it a possibility. But still, this is a creative endeavor we’re talking about, and then there’s the business side that would have to be worked out…so many hurdles. I am thrilled that people like the character enough to want that show to happen.
Today, Deadline is reporting that the show is happening, and that it is fittingly called Better Call Saul, which was Goodman's slogan on the show. There's a real website at BetterCallSaul.com. From Deadline:
Breaking Bad‘s Saul Goodman will live on at AMC. After lengthy negotiations, the cable network and Breaking Bad producer Sony Pictures TV have reached a licensing agreement for a spinoff from Vince Gilligan‘s acclaimed drama series. The spinoff series, tentatively titled Better Call Saul, had been in the works for months. It centers on one of Breaking Bad‘s most recognizable supporting characters, Bob Odenkirk‘s unflappable criminal lawyer Saul Goodman. Conceived by Breaking Bad creator Gilligan and series writer-producer Peter Gould, who created the Saul character together for a Season 2 episode written by Gould, the spinoff will be be a one-hour prequel that will focus on the evolution of the Goodman character before he ever became Walter White’s lawyer, AMC said. The network wouldn’t elaborate on the project’s status, but I’ve learned Better Call Saul has a series order pending the complication of Sony TV’s deals with Gilligan, Gould and Odenkirk. The pact between AMC and Sony TV came after talks between the two sides came down to the wire, with other outlets, including Netflix, which has had huge success with Breaking Bad, very interested in snatching the spinoff series.
It's not surprising at all that Netflix wanted a piece, considering how they love to bring back beloved characters from TV shows, and that they practically already promote Breaking Bad like it's their own.
For Breaking Bad fans, this seems like pretty good news. Luckily we know it's prequel, so the news doesn't spoil the fate of Goodman's character on the show, which has three episodes left.
It's hard to imagine that this won't have an entirely different tone than Breaking Bad, but it that's probably a good thing. Based on the character and Odenkirk's own career, I'd expect this to be a little more on the humorous side. It will be interesting to see if we see any other familiar faces from Breaking Bad appear on the show.
Spin-offs rarely work, but it does happen on occasion. Frasier, The Jeffersons, Laverne and Shirley and Angel come to mind. And this is a Breaking Bad character we're talking about. Hell, this is Bob Odenkirk we're talking about. Count me in.