As AMC‘s Breaking Bad is heading into its final eight-episode run this summer, the network and series producer Sony TV are exploring keeping the franchise alive with a spinoff series centered on one of Breaking Bad‘s most recognizable supporting characters, Bob Odenkirk‘s unflappable criminal lawyer Saul Goodman. There are no deals in place yet as the project is in its nascent stages, but I hear it is being conceived by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and series writer-producer Peter Gould, who created the Saul character together for a Season 2 episode written by Gould.
Goodman, who has been a regular presence on the show since, is a sleazy but highly competent criminal lawyer with a penchant for over-the-top TV commercials in which he uses his signature tagline “Better Call Saul!” Saul has served as Breaking Bad‘s comic relief, which is not surprising given Odenkirk’s strong comedy background. As a result, I hear the potential spinoff is eyed as a comedy, which could be one-hour, but a half-hour format also is being explored.
My immediate reaction to this is “this would awesome!” but then I remember every other time that the zany, funny supporting character has been given the main role in a subsequent outing (most recently this would be Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 4) and how that’s never really worked out.
See, the amoral character works really well as a supporting character because he doesn’t need to grow or evolve but as the central character he does. Since Saul is already a “criminal lawyer” the only choices are to make him evolve towards good or towards worse, and I’m not sure how that would play out. Then again, given that Walter White has been slowly moving towards bad it might be interesting to see the same writers do just the opposite with Saul.