<em>Better Call Saul</em> creators tease <em>Breaking Bad</em> cameos
When the cast and creators of AMC's new series hit the stage at the recent Television Critics Association panel, the biggest question on everyone's mind was how many characters were going to visit from the original series and how soon it was going to happen.
Bob Odenkirk (Saul) joked, "Every time I come in the office in this show I say, 'Has Walter White called yet?'"
The sky's the limit on cameos
Executive producer Vince Gilligan understood why the members of the press were so curious. "It is a very natural question, a good question," he said. "How many characters from the Breaking Bad world may or may not appear on Better Call Saul as it goes forward? I have to admit that a big part of the fun for us setting the series as a prequel six years earlier is that it allows the sky to be the limit in the sense that all the characters who are deceased when Breaking Bad ends could theoretically show up."
But don't expect Walt and Jesse in Season 1
"In the spirit of full disclosure, Walt and Jesse will not appear in Season 1," executive producer Peter Gould clarified. "We want this to really stand on its own. We don't want to mislead people into expecting something that's not going to happen. Walt and Jesse don't show up in Season 1. Having said that, everything else is on the table."
If it feels like a stunt, something's horribly wrong
The most important detail the creators want fans to know about possible Breaking Bad cameos is that it's all about the storytelling.
"If it ever got to a point in the show, and I hope it wouldn't, but if it ever got the point in the show where we said to ourselves, 'This episode is gonna air around sweeps week, we need Bryan [Cranston] in this one,' that will hopefully be the day I quit," Gilligan said.
"It if feels like a stunt, then we have, in the writer's room, done something horribly wrong," he added.
"We have a corkboard in the writers' office with names of all the characters we can conceive bringing back," Gould said. "Some of them from the big ones, like Jesse and Walt, to ones that maybe you'd remember, maybe you wouldn't, like Wendy. So it's always on our mind.
"Being completely honest, I'm greedy that way. I want to see them all eventually. I'm not promising we will, but there's a constant tension of, 'Man, this would be fun to do,'" he added.
Look for a big surprise at the end of the pilot episode
No names were spilled in the panel, but fans should be on the lookout for a familiar face at the end of the first episode. It may happen fast and it might be in the background, so keep your eyes peeled.