11:19am PT by Brian Porreca
'Better Call Saul': Vince Gilligan and Bob Odenkirk on Bryan Cranston's On-Set Reunion
Better call ... Bryan?
After photos of Bryan Cranston on the set of Better Call Saul's third season hit the internet, diehard fans went wild on social media for the Breaking Bad reunion. And they weren't the only ones.
At the show's third-season premiere in Los Angeles on Tuesday night, show co-creator Vince Gilligan told The Hollywood Reporter about Cranston's trip to Albuquerque and visit to the set of the AMC Breaking Bad spinoff: "It was awesome. He got to see crewmembers from Breaking Bad he hadn't seen in about four years."
Gilligan, who created Breaking Bad, added, "You're really busy when you're directing, but at one point I took a little breather and saw him shooting the breeze with crewmembers from Breaking Bad who are now on Better Call Saul. It made me so happy."
Bob Odenkirk, who stars as Breaking Bad alum Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman on Better Call Saul, said, "Anybody would be lucky to have Bryan near their set. He's the greatest dude. He set the bar for everyone in every way. I wish he was there all the time."
But Jonathan Banks had a bone to pick with Cranston. The Bad and Saul star joked, "Let's get that bald-headed old man out of here! I said to him, 'You gained so much weight and your skin condition is just horrible.' I hope he's finding a job somewhere! I wouldn't imagine it being in the acting field."
Although Cranston's time on set was just a visit — and not a return as Walter White — that doesn't mean fans won't be seeing other Breaking Bad characters appear in season three. They'll see Giancarlo Esposito return as Gustavo Fring and will finally get to meet Saul Goodman.
Said Gilligan on taking time to get to this point, when Jimmy McGill sheds his skin to become Saul: "There was a time where we thought he would be Saul Goodman from the get-go, but then we thought about the first episode of Breaking Bad he appeared in where he had a different name in the past, so we thought about doing that just in season one where he's Jimmy McGill and halfway through the season he'll turn into Saul Goodman."
But things didn't go as planned.
"We were nervous initially," he said. "People thought we were trying to pull some bait and switch. There's a certain truth in advertising you want to adhere to. It's called Better Call Saul. But as we kept going we thought, 'God, we really love this guy Jimmy McGill.' He's so many good things that when he becomes Saul Goodman he's not. More and more we realized him becoming Saul Goodman was a tragedy. That continues to be the case where he works towards devolving into Saul Goodman. And it's a shame that's going to happen."
Odenkirk also spoke about inching their way closer and closer to when the Breaking Bad timeline began.
"Once the dominoes start falling it goes faster and faster," he revealed. "In season three, really at the very end is when they start to fall. It's a faster season."
The premiere was followed by an afterparty at the Culver Hotel where guests made sure to get the night's version of Fring's famous Los Pollos Hermanos chicken.