Vince Gilligan Says ‘Better Call Saul’ Will Be A Period Piece

By July 14, 2014

“Breaking Bad” is one of my favorite shows of all time, so forgive me if I’m still a little wary about the idea of Vince Gilligan and company creating a spin-off show around Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman character. But now that we’re inching closer to the show’s premiere date in early 2015, details are popping up that are making me rest a bit easier about the whole notion of telling more stories set in the “Breaking Bad” universe.

At this weekend’s TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour, Vince Gilligan and the show’s creative team took the stage to answer some questions about the show. (We also have two new images – one at the top of this post, and one below, featuring co-star Michael McKean.)

Better Call Saul 3

Gilligan revealed (via EW) that the show will be largely set in 2002, six years before Saul meets Walter White. And here’s something cool: when we first see Saul in the show, he’ll actually be named Jimmy McGill, and the series traces Jimmy’s transformation into Saul as he works against (and sometimes with) professional fixer Mike Ehrmantraut (played by Jonathan Banks). Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap) plays Jimmy/Saul’s brother, Rhea Seehorn (Franklin & Bash) as Kim, Patrick Fabian (Grey’s Anatomy) as Hamlin, and Michael Mando (Orphan Black‘s Vic the Black) as Nacho.

Gilligan and showrunner Peter Gould also commented on whether we’d see the return of Giancarlo Esposito’s Gus Fring:

These are all characters we love and with Gus there is so much more to say about that character, and we certainly love Giancarlo. Having said that, we’re trying to make something that stands on its own that has an entertainment value that’s not just seeing a series of old favorites. It’s not the series equivalent of a clip show. So we try to balance these things out. But I agree there’s so much to be said about Gus — although in the series it always seemed to me that Saul didn’t know Gus directly. He knew a guy who knew a guy.

As I’ve said all along, as long as they keep the cutesy references to other “Breaking Bad” characters to a minimum, I think the show will end up being much better off. But these guys know what they’re doing, and they’re obviously hyper-aware of the legacy of “Breaking Bad,” so I’m finally starting to think that “Better Call Saul” could actually end up being a pretty fantastic dark comedy.

Are you looking forward to watching it? Let us know below.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.