Posted on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 by Angie Han
We know Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) will be back for Better Call Saul, obviously. And potential appearances by Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) have been teased as well. But one guy series co-creator Vince Gilligan really seems to have his heart on bringing back is Mike Ehrmentraut, the no-nonsense fixer/enforcer/hitman played by Jonathan Banks.
That is, if Gilligan can get him. As he points out, most of the Breaking Bad actors have moved on to other things. And that’s not even getting into the other, non-casting challenges presented by the show. Hit the jump to see what Gilligan had to say about Banks, Better Call Saul‘s fractured timeline, and his big regret about Breaking Bad.
Gilligan sat down with EW to talk about his new show. Asked which characters from his last show “might pop up or even have an extended role,” Gilligan answered:
The character that springs to mind would be Mike. That would be a great deal of fun. I would say the sky’s the limit, at least theoretically speaking. Realistically speaking, we’ve got a whole lot of actors, and the world is now well-aware of their wonderful talents and abilities, and therefore Breaking Bad has probably made it tougher for Peter and I to get some of these folks pinned down for another TV show.
Although Better Call Saul is set, for the most part, in the days before Walt broke bad, Gilligan admits that he and co-creator Peter Gould have been “turning over” the possibility of jumping to other points in the timeline.
We think, by and large, this show will be a prequel, but the wonderful thing about the fractured chronology we employed on Breaking Bad for many years is the audience will not be thrown by us jumping around in time. So it’s possible that we may indeed do that, and we’ll see the past and perhaps the future.
As for whether that might even include the Breaking Bad era, Gilligan acknowledged, “It could.”
Even trickier than the timeline in Better Call Saul, however, is its unconflicted protagonist.
[T]he thing we realize is tricky with the character is that Saul Goodman is very comfortable in his own skin. He seems to be a character who is pretty happy with himself, especially when we first meet him. He seems to be a pretty happy-go-lucky guy, and that makes him everything that Walter White is not. And that also makes for tricky drama. When I say drama, even in a comedy, you want drama, you want tension and conflict, and a character that at heart seems at peace with himself is intrinsically undramatic.
The former Breaking Bad showrunner also discussed his last series in the interview, confessing that he had at least one regret about the way it all played out. “I wish Jesse’s teeth had been a little more realistic, a little more messed up,” he said. “But on the other hand, Aaron is such a good-looking guy that maybe that counts as poetic license that we kept his teeth looking nice.”
He’s also confounded by those post-finale fan theories that it was all a dream.
[W]hen I heard anecdotally that a lot of people were of the belief that the whole thing had been a dream, then I was kind of scratching my head because that to me as a fan of storytelling, that to me, is the antithesis of a satisfying ending. [...] It certainly doesn’t work well for me that these people I’ve invested all my care and close attention to for years on end, that nothing they’ve accomplished happened to be real: It was all some bulls— dream. [Laughs] I was like, “Are you kidding me?” Who would find that… what’s the word?… fulfilling?
On the whole, though, he seems fairly pleased with the way Breaking Bad turned out. “The challenge [of the finale] was to ‘be satisfying,’” he revealed. “That was the two-word goal that the writers and I were basically consumed by for the better part of a year.”
As Gilligan moves on to Better Call Saul, he’ll keep the same goal in mind. “It has to stand on its own two legs as its own series, otherwise there’s no point in doing it,” he said. “[I]t will have to succeed on its own terms as its own show. If it doesn’t, it won’t be satisfying, and satisfaction is the key word. We want to satisfy.”
Read the full interview at Entertainment Weekly.