In a very lengthy profile of Vince Gilligan, The Hollywood Reporter asked the Breaking Bad showrunner, among other things, what was next for him, and how they expect to proceed with Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad prequel spin-off centered around Bob Odenkirk’s sleazy lawyer character.
As far as what he’s planning to do next, Gilligan has apparently fielded dozens of movie and television offers, but he’s not really interested in taking on anything that he doesn’t write himself (including Tyrant, the FX series that Ang Lee had been set to direct). Apparently, according to THR, he’s mulling a Western, which would would obviously suit a guy well versed in the films of Sergio Leone.
As for the Better Call Saul spin-off? The idea is to make it lighter, and reverse the Breaking Bad formula of 75 percent drama to 25 percent comedy. It will be a full hour show, keep the visual style of Breaking Bad and bring much of the old team back together.
“So we figured, ‘Why not shoot Saul in the same way?’ 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.”
And would that crew extend to Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston? Yes, yes it would.
Both Cranston and Aaron Paul, in addition to some of Bad’s other actors, have expressed interest in making appearances, which Gilligan intends to make happen. “Personally, I’d have a hard time resisting putting all these guys in for a cameo or two every now and then,” he says, smiling at the very thought. He and Gould would like to lure at least a few of the other writers, too, with Bad writer’s assistant Gordon Smith already on board. (They’ll need to begin staffing up soon as the tentative plan is to have Saul on the air sometime between August and October.) Gilligan says he envisions being in the writers room full-time, at least for the first season, and already is slated to direct the pilot. Once Saul has found its footing, he’ll turn his focus to other projects — assuming he is able to detach.
Gilligan is also not interested in pursuing Battle Creek, the procedural he wrote 13 years ago that recently got picked up by CBS, which assigned House showrunner, David Shore, to the show.
Gilligan says it’ll very quickly become known as Shore’s show — “and rightly so,” he adds — admitting he has little desire to return to a broadcast schedule. “Twenty-four episodes would kill me,” he says, acknowledging that he isn’t even sure he’ll be able to go back to cable’s 13-episode schedule after doing Bad’s more recent installments of eight. (Those close to Gilligan suggest his next TV creation likely will land at an HBO or a Netflix given his experience and desire to push the boundaries; Bad was able to get away with language and violence five years ago that AMC, now a higher-profile, advertiser-friendly programmer, would not allow of a new series today.)
The profile also stated that Gilligan and Peter Gould are aiming to have Better Call Saul on the air in late summer/early fall of 2014, which is essentially when Breaking Bad would’ve returned, anyway, so at least our annual entrance into that universe won’t be interrupted.
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