The perpetually stone-faced Mike Ehrmantraut will be back in a big way on AMC’s upcoming “Breaking Bad” spin-off “Better Call Saul.” Deadline reports that Jonathan Banks, who plays the deadpan, no-nonsense fixer who became embroiled in the affairs of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman on “Breaking Bad,” will be a series regular in the prequel series. Looks like he’s heading from Greendale back in time to New Mexico.
Banks, who earned an Emmy nomination for his work in the fifth season of “Breaking Bad,” joins fellow fan favorite Bob Odenkirk in the show, which will explore the history of the Saul Goodman character before he too was tied up with Walter White. Banks and Odenkirk are the only two actors confirmed for the cast right now, though behind the scenes, tons of “Breaking Bad” alums have hopped on board, including writer/producer Peter Gould (who created Saul Goodman and will be this program’s showrunner), co-exec producer Tom Schnauz, and exec story editor Gennifer Hutchison.
Talk of Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston cameos has been brewing since the concept was first announced, but I’m hoping they keep that kind of thing to a minimum. Anything that would cross over too heavily into the storyline of “Breaking Bad” seems like a bad idea; you’ve got two great characters here, and exploring stories that don’t involve Walt and Jesse seems like the best way to go about creating this show’s own identity separate from “Breaking Bad.” (But feel free to throw in Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring whenever possible.)
As long as the writers of “Better Call Saul” don’t mess too much with the storylines already established in “Breaking Bad,” this show should be OK. It’s when writers start trying to get cute by dropping little references in here and there that they increase their chances of making a mistake and throwing off the timelines and somewhat tainting legacy of the original show. But Vince Gilligan and his team have proven themselves to be extremely capable, so I’m sure we don’t have anything to worry about.
“Better Call Saul” is expected to debut sometime this November on AMC.
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