Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito Is Set To Play Another Ruthless TV Crime Boss

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Even though Giancarlo Esposito's Gus Fring was only a menacing force on Breaking Bad for just over two seasons, his impact was felt across all of pop culture, and even spawned the character's return to achieve his criminal glory via Better Call Saul. Esposito will apparently utilize that subsection of his skill set for the new Cinemax drama Jett, in which he will reportedly play another big crime lord opposite Watchmen and Wayward Pines vet Carla Gugino as the series lead. I'm really hoping the character's name is Fus Gring.

Jett stars Carla Gugino as the master thief Daisy "Jett" Kowalski, recently released from prison and pressured into diving back into the deep end of an already dangerous world. Because her grade-A talents, a wide variety of offbeat criminals are eager to get her to do their bidding, and it doesn't sound like this world of two-bit thugs and dirty cops is one where criminals can find proper post-prison rehabilitation.

While the character descriptions are very light beyond Carla Gugino's titular thief, Deadline is reporting that Giancarlo Esposito will be playing a powerful crime lord who goes by the name Baudelaire, a fancy moniker for a presumably fancy kingpin. (You can't be called Baudelaire and not have a full collection of feather-adorned fedoras.) Hopefully the slight description is not indicative of it being a low-stakes role.

It's reported that Giancarlo Esposito, who recently cameoed on Westworld, currently has a one-year deal locked in for Jett, which he was able to take due to having wrapped up all his filming for Better Call Saul Season 4. There are no deals in place just yet to keep Esposito on the Better Call Saul prequel beyond that, though it's reported he could indeed return for Season 5 if necessary, with Jett's production schedule not being an obstacle. (For what it's worth, it's also obviously not clear if Esposito's Baudelaire will be around for a second season of Jett.)

Jett was created by Women in Trouble and Elektra Luxx filmmaker Sebastian Gutierrez, and the cast grew by a lot more than just Esposito recently, too. Wonder Woman actress Elena Anaya was tapped to play Maria, who served as a surrogate mom for Jett's daughter while the woman was incarcerated. Peaky Blinders' Gaite Jansen is reportedly playing an ex-junkie prostitute named Phoenix. Other new additions include Big Little Lies' Chris Backus, The Americans' Michael Aronov, The Shannara Chronicles' Gentry White, The Last Ship's Jodie Turner-Smith, Patriot's Gil Bellows, Power's Lucy Walters, Love's Violet McGraw, and new Luke Cage star Mustafa Shakir.

Jett may not be the Gus Fring spinoff that will always be welcome on our TVs, but if it's bringing Giancarlo Esposito back into the criminal underground, then we're down to watch. Jett will make its debut on Cinemax at some point in the future. While waiting to hear more, head to our summer premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.