The 'Breaking Bad' Spinoff Series, 'Better Call Saul': It's Happening

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  • Vince Gilligan
    Vince Gilligan
    American writer, producer, and director

With just three episodes of "Breaking Bad" remaining, fans of the Walter White universe are getting a bit of good news today: AMC has confirmed that it is moving forward with "Better Call Saul," a one-hour prequel series that will focus on how Walt's attorney, Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), became, well, the Saul you better call if you've got a tricky legal problem in Albuquerque.

The network's official statement on the spinoff:

"AMC and Sony Pictures Television confirmed today that they have reached a licensing agreement for a spinoff of Vince Gilligan’s landmark AMC/SPT series 'Breaking Bad.' As conceived, the new series is based on the show’s popular Saul Goodman character with the working title 'Better Call Saul.' Plans call for Saul to be a one-hour prequel that will focus on the evolution of the popular Saul Goodman character before he ever became Walter White’s lawyer."

[Related: 'Breaking Bad' Recap: Walt Does Have a Floor, But It's Probably Too Late]

The fact that the series will be a prequel presents a plethora of opportunities, including the chance that we'll see "Breaking Bad" characters from the past, namely Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), one of Saul's most important clients, and one of primetime's all-time great villains. (R.I.P. Gus).

Goodman (trivia: the character's real name is Saul McGill, but that doesn't sound as catchy on billboards and bus bench ads) was introduced to the "BB" universe in Season 2's "Better Call Saul," when Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) hired him from his strip mall office to represent Badger (Matt L. Jones) after Badger was busted for selling meth.

Saul, who — so far — is still alive and very much still involved in Walter White's ever-crumbling world, continued to help Walt and Jesse out of many a jam, and is one of the main sources of "Bad's" dark humor and much-appreciated moments of levity.

[Related: 8 Things We Learned About 'Breaking Bad's' Aaron Paul From His Reddit AMA]

A few of Saul's greatest quips:

• To Walt: "If you're committed enough, you can make any story work. I once convinced a woman that I   was Kevin Costner, and it worked. You know why? Because I believed it."

• To Skyler, after Walt introduced her: "Walter never told me how lucky he was. Clearly his taste in women is the same as his taste in lawyers: only the very best, with just a right amount of dirty!"

• To Walt: "Did you not plan for this contingency? Well, next time, plan for it, would ya? The Starship Enterprise had a self-destruct button. I'm just saying."

• To Walt: "Let's just say I know a guy, who knows a guy… who knows another guy."

• To Walt and Jesse: "Look, let's start with some tough love, alright? Ready for this? Here it goes: You two suck at peddling meth. Period." 

Check out Saul Goodman's greatest moments:

And the new Saul Goodman instant classic, said to Walt, about Hank: "Have you given any thought to, uh, sending him on a trip to Belize?" 

As for what little biographical info we've gleaned about Saul, we know he's been married (multiple times), and that he caught one of his wives having sex with his stepdad; we know he's Irish, but likes potential clients to think he's Jewish; and we know he's actually a pretty good attorney (he's had lots of practice using the intricacies of the law to his shady clients' benefits).

[Related: Anna Gunn on Skyler's 'Desperate Hope' as 'Breaking Bad' Nears the End]

As for the specifics of "Better Call Saul," "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan told Yahoo TV in May that he and "BB" writer Peter Gould — who created the Saul character — had been working on the spinoff, so even if Gilligan isn't as hands-on with "Saul" as he has been with "BB," it will have his fingerprints on it.

"This is a guy who kind of knows everybody… everybody in town, all the major players. And he has a hand in the business every which way he can," Gilligan said of Saul. "So we just have to figure out exactly what kind of story we're telling. Is it a story about his creation of his own character? Because Saul Goodman, as he explains in his first episode (of "BB"), is not his real name. He is a self-created character, much like Heisenberg. Do we tell the story of his origins? We're still trying to hash that out. But there are a lot of fun possibilities."

Meanwhile, another piece of good "Bad" news for fans: Sony has officially announced the release of the "Breaking Bad: The Complete Series" Blu-ray box set, which goes on sale November 26.

[Photos: Jesse Pinkman and 10 More TV Characters Who Were Supposed to Die]

The collection — packaged in a cool black barrel (just like the ones Walt used to bury his cash) — includes 55 hours of bonus material, a new two-hour documentary on the series, a commemorative challenge coin designed by Vince Gilligan, and a Los Pollos Hermanos apron.

And one more "Breaking Bad" reminder: Gilligan has called Sunday's new episode, "Ozymandias," the best episode of the series, which is saying a lot.

"Breaking Bad" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Check out episode photos from Season 5 of "Breaking Bad":