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A new billboard touting the legal services of "James M. McGill" — the pre-Saul moniker of Bob Odenkirk's Breaking Bad attorney character, who we'll get to know much better in AMC's upcoming Better Call Saul prequel series — popped up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The billboard includes a phone number for McGill/Saul's JMM legal office, and fans who dial the number will hear this message from McGill (i.e., Odenkirk, using a strange, pseudo-Irish accent):
"Hello! You've reached the law office of James M. McGill, esquire, a lawyer you can trust. Kindly leave your information at the tone, and Mr. McGill will phone you promptly."
Breaking Bad fans will recall Saul once told Walt he is Irish, but changed his name to make potential clients think he's Jewish. "My real name's McGill," he revealed in Season 2's "Better Call Saul" episode. "The Jew thing, I just do for the homeboys. They all want a pipe-hitting member of the tribe, so to speak."
The billboard is just the latest Better Call Saul news to get fans excited for the prequel, which will debut on AMC in 2015. Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and BB writer Peter Gould — who created the Saul character on Bad, and who, along with Gilligan, will produce the spinoff — shared some details about the new series earlier this month during the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
The photo on the billboard — which is located along the southbound I-25 in Albuquerque — shows a younger-looking, fuller-follicled (doesn’t that hairpiece make him look like Alec Baldwin doing his Tony Bennett impersonation on Saturday Night Live?) Odenkirk as James McGill. Makes sense, since, as Gilligan said at the TCA session that Saul will be set in 2002. Well, somewhat in 2002. "I think the best way to answer this and not get yelled at is, you saw from Breaking Bad that we like non-linear storytelling and jumping around in time," Gilligan said. "I would point you in the that direction, that anything that's possible in Breaking Bad is possible in Better Call Saul."
Among other tidbits from the TCA session: Jonathan Banks will reprise his role as fixer Mike Ehrmantraut; Laverne & Shirley star Michael McKean will play Chuck, Saul/McGill's brother; Gould and Gilligan said it's possible Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) could make appearances on the spinoff; and the great Emmy-winning producer/director Michelle MacLaren — who has directed episodes of Bad, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead, among others — will direct the second episode of Saul (Gilligan is directing the premiere).
All of which makes 2015 seem frustratingly far away, so in the meantime, do as Saul Goodman's license plate suggests and LWYRUP: Call that James M. McGill number.
Better Call Saul premieres in early 2015 on AMC.