Talk of a Breaking Bad spin-off focusing on the sleazy lawyer character of Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) has been going on for awhile now, but it seems AMC/Sony are close to officially announcing prequel series Better Call Saul. It will be an hour-long comedy-drama set before the events of Breaking Bad; which means Saul could potentially die in the final three episodes of Breaking Bad, and that characters from said show could cameo in Saul's own series.
The involvement of Saul's loyal henchmen Huell and Kuby feels like a given, but could there be a recurring role for Jonathan Banks as Mike (originally introduced as a fixer Saul knew)? Might there be an appearance from Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring at Los Pollos Hermanos--seeing as he'd be Albuquerque's drug lord at this moment in time? It's even possible Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston could reprise their roles for a cameo during sweeps. It would be great to see a younger Jesse sitting in one of Mr White's chemistry classes, let's be honest.
Of course, it's unlikely Better Call Saul will want to lean too heavily on its associations with Breaking Bad. It will need to carve its own identity and become its own beast with its own virtues. As with any prequel, there's the inbuilt problem we know Saul Goodman will never come to any serious harm, which is one reason I assumed a spin-off would take place after Breaking Bad's finale... but maybe the writers know the potential fun of bringing back a few old faces eventually.
Better Call Saul is co-created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould (who originated the eponymous attorney in a season 2 episode), with Gould being lined up as showrunner. The show is likely to go straight to series, rather than produce a pilot for network evaluation.
So what do you think? Do we need a Breaking Bad prequel or spin-off? I'm not convinced we actually do, but I like the idea of a more offbeat and amusing show set in the same universe. Odenkirk's been so entertaining as Saul, so I'd watch a show with him as the lead... and if AMC only manage to make regular viewers out of Breaking Bad stalwarts, that will likely result in decent ratings.