Netflix interest in prequel project complicated talks between AMC, Sony Pictures TV
AMC announced in a joint statement with Sony Pictures TV on Wednesday that they are moving forward with “Breaking Bad” spinoff “Better Call Saul.” The network and studio have so far reached a licensing agreement for the hourlong drama.
New series will serve as a prequel to “Breaking Bad” and center on Saul Goodman, the attorney that eventually becomes Walter White’s lawyer. Bob Odenkirk, who plays Goodman on the parent series, will star in the spinoff, with “Breaking Bad” vet Peter Gould spearheading the project.
Program will hail from Sony Pictures TV, the studio behind “Breaking Bad,” and Vince Gilligan will remain involved in the creative process of the spinoff.
The path to striking the “Better Call Saul” deal was rocky for Sony Pictures TV and AMC. Sony TV had leverage with Netflix waiting just off stage ready to pounce on the Goodman spinoff if AMC passed, as “Breaking Bad” reruns are said to be a big draw for the Netcaster.
But AMC and Sony had differences of opinion on the time frame of AMC’s negotiating window, among other conflicts that added to the tension and dragged out the negotiations. Those close to the project were frustrated at the fact that both camps were eager to get a deal done yet fought so strenuously over the smallest details.
The series finale of “Breaking Bad” will air Sept. 29 on AMC.