Better Call Saul gave potential audiences a solid new look at the series earlier today, but as it goes for everything in Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s universe, there’s always some bad to go with the good. The duo have put to rest the question that Breaking Bad fans have had since this series was first announced: neither Bryan Cranston’s Walter White nor Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman will be making any appearances in this spinoff’s first season. Heisen-blergh!
The news comes from the Better Call Saul Q&A at the currently ongoing Television Critics Association winter press event. Here’s how Gould dropped the bad news, via Deadline.
In the interest of full disclosure, Walt and Jesse will not appear in Season 1. We don’t want to mislead people. It’s not going to happen – but, having said that, everything else is on the table.”
The news is hardly surprising, given this series isn’t just a cheap knockoff that needs to stoop to stunt casting to draw in audiences. (Not that it would hurt.) And besides, the key words there are “in Season 1.” The fact that AMC granted Better Call Saul a two-season order so early on has probably been a big help in helping Gould and Gilligan form this storyline, as they don’t have to pull out all the big guns in the first year. And then later? Anything can happen.
Set six years before the beginning of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul has the advantage of pulling from a long list of memorable characters for cameo appearances, but that also means a character like Jesse would be far too young for the original actor to play the part. Knowing that Walt and Jesse won’t be appearing saves us all from rampant viewer speculation that “the one kid with the blue backpack in that one episode is probably definitely Jesse.”
Here’s how Gilligan explained their viewpoint on bringing back the beloved antiheroes.
I guess the best way to answer is, we’ve got to have the storytelling…If it ever got to the point in the show where we said, “Hmm, this is going to air around a sweep week, we need Bryan in this one,’ I hope that will be the day I quit. The show answer is, the sky is the limit and the characters could conceivably show up in the future but our intention is when they do feel proper and fitting and organic.”
I agree with that 100%. It makes no sense to make a big deal out of a pair of appearances if the characters don’t make a difference to the storyline. Besides, we have Mike, so that’ll do quite well for now. And Gould and Gilligan seem quick happy to let fans know that everyone else might pop up.
Better Call Saul will premiere on AMC on Sunday, February 8, at 10 p.m. ET. Head to the next page to see the new trailer that dropped earlier today.