One of the many things to look forward to in 2014 is the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul, which takes place before Walter White (Bryan Cranston) ever met his shady attorney Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk). While the show will largely be a prequel to Breaking Bad, series creator/executive producer Vince Gilligan revealed that he wants to bring Jonathan Banks back as Mike Ehrmantraut in the spin-off.
"The character that springs to mind would be Mike (Jonathan Banks). That would be a great deal of fun. I would say the sky's the limit, at least theoretically speaking. Realistically speaking, we've got a whole lot of actors, and the world is now well-aware of their wonderful talents and abilities, and therefore Breaking Bad has probably made it tougher for Peter (Gould) and I to get some of these folks pinned down for another TV show. They're off making big movies and doing Broadway plays and whatnot, and that's exactly the way it should be. That is a high-class problem that we will have to contend with as we go forward with Better Call Saul, if we do indeed want to touch base with some of these characters... Better Call Saul could be The Love Boat of its generation, where instead of Milton Berle showing up in a sailor's cap, hopefully it could be Aaron Paul, also in a sailor's cap. [Laughs]"
He also talked about working with writer-producer Peter Gould, and how the story is coming together.
"Peter Gould is a wonderful writer and producer and director who worked on Breaking Bad with me from the first season, and he created the character of Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk). He and I have been turning that over in our heads quite a bit. We think, by and large, this show will be a prequel, but the wonderful thing about the fractured chronology we employed on Breaking Bad for many years is the audience will not be thrown by us jumping around in time. So it's possible that we may indeed do that, and we'll see the past and perhaps the future. Nothing is written in stone yet, we're still figuring it out, but the thing we realize is tricky with the character is that Saul Goodman is very comfortable in his own skin. He seems to be a character who is pretty happy with himself, especially when we first meet him. He seems to be a pretty happy-go-lucky guy, and that makes him everything that Walter White is not. And that also makes for tricky drama. When I say drama, even in a comedy, you want drama, you want tension and conflict, and a character that at heart seems at peace with himself is intrinsically undramatic. [Laughs] So we've been thinking about how to address that issue."
However, he wouldn't say how much the prequel would delve into the Breaking Bad era.
"It could. That's why I love the possibilities of the show so much. Anything is possible, and I can't make any promises that we will indeed see that kind of stuff, but I can tell you from a writer's point of view, it's very freeing and emboldening to have those opportunities available to you."
The executive producer also confessed that the spin-off comes out of a desire to continue the experience of making Breaking Bad, while making a completely different show.
"Oh, I think you're right, and I don't think that desire is subconscious. I reluctantly came to the realization several years ago that we needed to end Breaking Bad before the audience lost interest. We needed to end it at the height of its interest in the audience, and I feel we accomplished that. I feel very lucky for having it work out that way. And it's not even subconscious on my part - I want to keep the party going on some level. I've always loved the character Saul Goodman, I've always felt like there's a whole world of story possibilities contained within him and the world that he inhabits, and I would just love to see some version of this world continue. By its very design, Better Call Saul has to be a different kind of show, and we're not looking to simply keep Breaking Bad going by having a spin-off series. It has to stand on its own two legs as its own series, otherwise there's no point in doing it. It will be Saul Goodman's world, it won't be Walter White's, and it will have a different feel, even though there will be some overlap on the Venn Diagram that exists between Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. But it will have to succeed on its own terms as its own show. If it doesn't, it won't be satisfying, and satisfaction is the key word. We want to satisfy."
He also talked about reactions to the Breaking Bad finale.
"First of all, I can't tell you what a big, deep sigh of relief I breathed when word came in that people liked the episode. I can't tell you how much that meant to me. However, having said that, when I heard anecdotally that a lot of people were of the belief that the whole thing had been a dream, then I was kind of scratching my head because that to me as a fan of storytelling, that to me, is the antithesis of a satisfying ending. The whole thing was a dream? [Laughs] The only time the "It was all a dream" bit worked out well was the first time it was used. The first time that I know of was in the old Ambrose Bierce short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. It worked beautifully in that short story from  years ago. It does not work well to a modern audience. It certainly doesn't work well for me that these people I've invested all my care and close attention to for years on end, that nothing they've accomplished happened to be real: It was all some bulls- dream. [Laughs] I was like, "Are you kidding me?" Who would find that... what's the word?... fulfilling?"
He also talked about what he wanted to accomplish in the finale.
"The challenge was to 'be satisfying.' That was the two-word goal that the writers and I were basically consumed by for the better part of a year. In the early going of trying to break the finale [story], we were under the impression that to satisfy was to surprise the audience. And it finally dawned on us one wonderful day that the key to satisfying an audience doesn't necessarily reside within surprising them, even though the show itself had thrived on the many twists and turns of plot that it had given the viewers over six years and the many surprises that it had held in store. Nonetheless, at a certain point, it feels like a moment where fate or destiny takes over in Walter White's life - it feels like Walt is probably not gonna survive this show. And in fact, he shouldn't, because the promise in the very first episode is that he is going to succumb. Having said that, the little surprises along the way in the last episode, like the fact that Walt does not succumb to the cancer - the thing that was promised all along - but rather he gets hoisted on his own petard. He's the engine of his own destruction, but in a way that's hopefully satisfying."
"This was a wonderful bolt from the blue. I wasn't even remotely thinking about acting in any capacity, and then my agent called me with a request that had been forwarded from Dan Harmon at Community. Dan wanted to see if I'd be interested in appearing in an episode. I was just charmed. There was no way I was going to say no to it. Even though, I have to say, I was nervous as hell. And this is payback on a lot of levels for me. As a director, you want to make your actors as comfortable as possible, you want to communicate with them as effectively as possible, but having said that, I remember back on all the times where I knew in my heart I wasn't giving Bryan Cranston or Aaron Paul or any of the actors exactly what they needed. I was just looking at my watch thinking, 'God, we need to shoot this.' I was not as supportive sometimes as I could have or should have been. This was karmic payback for that. Having said that, though, everyone on Community was wonderful. The whole crew and the cast could not have been more enthusiastic or supportive, and I did not want to waste the crew's time by not knowing my lines. That was one of my big phobias, as well as just basically sucking and embarrassing myself. That's always a concern when I leave the house every day."
While not much is known about his Community character is involved in a fight with Annie (Alison Brie) and Abed (Danny Pudi).
"There's a certain element to this that I don't want to give away. But I will take a bit of a risk here and add: My character tends to employ the phrase "Yee-haw" a lot."