How Better Call Saul And A Scary Home Invasion Inspired Bob Odenkirk To Make Nobody

This weekend Better Call Saul star and comedy icon Bob Odenkirk is about to kick a whole heap of ass, thanks to his new film Nobody. Admittedly, when the first trailer for the film started to roll around, it was an unexpected surprise to see the Breaking Bad fixture acting like he was the next John Wick. But a pair of interesting influences helped Odenkirk land the gig, as his smash hit AMC show and a scary home invasion paved the way for the actor to become a real Nobody.

During an interview with CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg, Bob Odenkirk was asked about how he’d advocated for the concept of Nobody, as well as how it changed in development. And besides the inspiration to train up to become an action hero, the two factors described above really drove the direction that writer Derek Kolstad’s script would eventually take. Describing the beginnings of that story, Odenkirk laid down how Better Call Saul worked into the picture:

So many things went into the invention of the movie Nobody. One was simply my brother in law sent me a screengrab of an advertisement for Better Call Saul in China. He was in China for his job, and he showed me that people were watching Saul in China. And I thought, ‘Holy cow, they’re watching in China, Russia, Italy, France. I wonder if I could do a feature that could play around the world?’ Action movies play around the world. … I also thought about my character from Better Call Saul, who is an earnest guy whose striving, and fails, and never quits; and is willing to be devious to try and get the upper hand.

The DNA of Saul Goodman’s prolific AMC spinoff seems to not only have affected how Nobody’s story was developed. The attitude towards how Bob Odenkirk’s Hutch Mansell rolls with the punches, gunshots, and brick walls that he’s presented with in life maps up rather well with that tenacious spirit the actor described. While his anti-hero is adept at various forms of combat, snapping back into his former life with little to no resistance, he does take his lumps, leaving the audience to question whether or not he’ll even make it out alive.

Then, of course, there’s the other half of the Nobody puzzle, which links back to the real Bob Odenkirk and a traumatic moment. With a home invasion occurring in his own personal history, the allure of channeling those feelings into a rough and tumble action hero persona was even stronger. Odenkirk described that piece of the story, as follows:

I also had this experience in my personal life, where there was a break in in my home, and it was very disturbing to my family. It left me with really kind of strong and deep feelings of anger that I thought, if I could draw on those feelings in that experience, that could launch a journey into darkness, and into violence and action.

At that point, Nobody had all the ingredients it needed for Bob Odenkirk to pass that concept over those that could get it into gear. Rounding out the story of the genesis to this would-be action blockbuster, this final piece of the Odenkirk puzzle pulled everything together in the end:

So I shared all of that with my manager, Marc Provissiero, fully expecting to be laughed at, and told ‘No. You’re not gonna be an action star.’ But he said, ‘No, those things make sense. Those things all do kind of work together.’

With Marc Provissiero on board, Nobody eventually found itself passed onto the hands of producers Kelly McCormack and David Leitch. And since this pair could turn anyone from Charlize Theron to Ryan Reynolds into action superstars, with films like Atomic Blonde and Deadpool, it was a cinch to make Nobody Bob Odenkirk’s time to shine. You can see those results for yourself, as Nobody is currently in theaters, ready to shout down anyone who would steal a kitty cat bracelet without so much as an apology.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.