Saul Goodman will live to sweet-talk his way into another day, as the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul inches ever closer to production. But there was a moment when Saul almost didn’t make it out of the Breaking Bad series finale alive.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, creator Vince Gilligan confirmed that an early version of the Breaking Bad ending featured a bloodbath that killed nearly every series regular, including Bob Odenkirk’s Saul. His life was spared in the end, at least in part, because of the upcoming spinoff.
“If I’m being really honest, I have to admit that it probably was a factor. I don’t think it was a defining factor,” Gilligan said. “If we had come up with an ending that included Saul’s death and it was an idea that all of us looked to each other and we had chills running down our spines and we all said, ‘Oh my god, that could be so completely awesome!’ then we would have gone ahead and done it. I guarantee you that. But having said that, since a) there was no really wonderful reason to kill him off and since admittedly b) he did have a spin-off series in the offing, we figured, ‘Why bother?'”
Gilligan continued, “But I would also offer the thought that the character of Mike, played by the wonderful Jonathan Banks, is going to be a series regular on Better Call Saul. And we’re not letting the fact that at a certain future date, fictionally speaking, his character will have ceased to exist. At a certain point everybody dies, so what the hell?”
Better Call Saul is expected to premiere at some point in the fall.