Better Call Saul, the upcoming AMC spinoff/prequel series from the pioneering crime drama, the Emmy-winning Breaking Bad, has added Jonathan Banks to its cast list. Banks, who played the cool-as-a-cucumber, yet deadly like a scorpion’s sting Mike Ehrmantraut on that storied program, has officially signed on to the new series, reports Variety by way of Deadline, who first broke the story.
The new series will follow the always colorful and sure to be seedy at times exploits of lawyer Saul Goodman (played by comedian/writer Bob Odenkirk), the lawyer/go-to-guy when things got rough and tangled — which were usual on Breaking Bad — and a constant metaphoric fix-it-man. With his ambiguous name (said rapidly phonetically, it sounds like the phrase “It’s All Good Man”), questionable tactics, and razor-sharp cynical yet always earnest mind, Goodman was one of the more beloved characters on the AMC show. The upcoming series will showcase Goodman’s life before he met Walter White, Breaking Bad‘s main protagonist turned antagonist, milquetoast chemistry teacher turned eventual drug kingpin, a status Goodman was very instrumental in helping Walt achieve.
Mike Ehrmantraut helped towards that achievement as well, although he and Walt went constant loggerheads on the program, with Mike having a complete disregard and disrespect for him, regardless of Walt’s growing position in power as the series went on. Mike was the fixer, the clean-up guy, all in underworld metaphors, and it will be interesting to see in an earlier state, the relationship between Mike and Saul, who had the kind of private investigator with Goodfellas-style balls that Saul needed. It will also be interesting to see if Gus Fring (played on Breaking Bad by Giancarlo Esposito) enters the mix down the road on the show, as both men were already involved with Fring when Walter had entered the scene. In fact, it was Goodman who had a main hand in arranging what eventually became a fateful relationship between Gus and Walter.
“Better Call Saul” was the tagline Goodman would use in his commercials and spread across billboards and bus benches specially made for the show. The new series was created by Breaking Bad‘s main figureheads (creator and writer-director Vince Gilligan and writer-producer Peter Gould) and is set to premiere in November on AMC. Banks and Odenkirk remain the only confirmed members of the cast so far, but with Banks coming back on board to reprise his Emmy-nominated performance, it should be interesting to see what the next few months have in store for the development and eventual finalized version of Better Call Saul.