‘Better Call Saul’ Creators On Bob Odenkirk’s Recovery & Taking Break From ‘Breaking Bad’ Universe; Vince Gilligan’s Next Series “Something Really Different”

‘Better Call Saul’ Creators On Bob Odenkirk’s Recovery & Taking Break From ‘Breaking Bad’ Universe; Vince Gilligan’s Next Series “Something Really Different”

There will be no more making meth in the middle of the desert in your underwear, at least for now.

That’s essentially the word from Better Call Saul co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould tonight at the show’s season 6A premiere in Hollywood.

For the last few months, Gilligan has been breaking story on a new series, however, he says “I haven’t told my wife about it.”

“It’s something really different,” the 4x Emmy winner says about his new TV series which will definitely be a departure from the crime thriller loaded world of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. 

“It’s a remake of Trapper John, M.D.” laughed Gilligan. The inside joke there being that he and Gould discussed heavily the spinoffs of M.A.S.H. (including After M.A.S.H.) when creating Better Call Saul. Essentially what you should and should not do when coming off of a hit, cult series.

A grand assumption is that most of the characters we see on Saul, but don’t see on Breaking Bad, i.e. Saul’s girlfriend/attorney Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), drug dealer Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), slithering attorney Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian), and drug lord Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) all have some ill fates in store. But don’t jump to any conclusions said this ensemble by and large tonight.

After creating a strong, complex female protagonist in Wexler, could we possibly see her in her own spin-off? Is there another Breaking Bad movie on the horizon?

”I love these characters, I love this world,” says Gould, “Maybe someday, but personally I’m going to take a little break from that world and try something else, just to prove that I can.”

“I think that’s my answer too, there are stories left to tell, but it’s not proving something to the world, it’s about proving something to yourself,” said Gilligan, “That thing, I’m working on, hopefully someone will want to buy it, someone will want to make it.”

Watch our conversation with the duo:

*****

Talking about Bob Odenkirk’s heart attack on the set of Better Call Saul in July 2021, Gilligan called the actor’s recovery “Amazing. He came right back, like it never happened. It was for real: He was gone, then he was back.” The Mr. Show alum and former SNL scribe returned to work on Better Call Saul on Sept. 8.

Odenkirk has talked about the ordeal in the New York Times, whereby he retreated to location on the show’s soundstages after shooting a scene where Fabian and Seehorn were hanging out. Both were with Odenkirk when he had the heart attack.  Odenkirk rode his workout bike and went down, laying on the ground without a pulse. The show’s health safety supervisor, Rosa Estrada, and assistant director, Angie Meyer, administered CPR and hooked Odenkirk up to an automated defibrillator. It took three times for the actor to get his pulse back. Odenkirk was taken to Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque where he had two stents put in his body to relieve the plaque buildup.

That particular scene which Odenkirk was shooting, will be seen in the second part of season 6; Gilligan and Gould staying mum about its contents.

“It was a hard scene to go back to,” says Gilligan, “I was directing, I was there.”

“We weren’t all the way through it. We were four-fifths of the way through it, so when he recovered, we had to finish shooting the scene. All of our amazing crew, make-up, wardrobe, hair, director of photography, everybody had to make sure that it looked exactly like the stuff we shot previous, so when it cuts together you can’t tell what’s the new stuff and what’s the old stuff,” the co-creator continued.

“I can say that this season you’re going to see shots of Bob before and after, and you’ll never know,” adds Gould, “His recovery is amazing. I can put the two scenes next to each other, and never know the difference.”

“It’s a credit to the people who saved his life,” said Gilligan giving high praise to Estrada and Meyer, “They’re like angels, saints, they came in right there and saved his life.”

With Breaking Bad known as one of the best series finales ever, have Gilligan and Gould set the bar too high for Better Call Saul?

“It’s very scary to follow Breaking Bad but with Peter at the helm of this show, I think he and the writers have got it,” said Gilligan; the duo completely finished with shooting all episodes.

“Just to give you a tease that I probably shouldn’t: There’s something in this season, that you will know that we watch a lot of old TV,” teased Gould, “There’s going to be a surprise, that I think is pretty extraordinary.”

Hmm, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman cameos, anyone?

Better Call Saul returns to AMC on April 18.

 

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