‘Better Call Saul’ showrunner opens up about returning ‘Breaking Bad’ characters

"If we had indulged ourselves, we would’ve had Bryan and Aaron in every episode from the beginning of the show, because we love them"

Better Call Saul showrunner Peter Gould has opened up about bringing Breaking Bad’s Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jessie Pinkman (Aaron Paul) back to the show in a new interview.

After the two actors were confirmed to appear in the Breaking Bad spin-off’s final season earlier this year, Paul and Cranston finally made their debut during a flashback sequence in the latest episode, titled Breaking Bad.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Gould was asked about what it was like bringing back the two characters and the “dangers” on doing that after a long time away.


Gould explained: “The danger was that we were going to be eating the seed corn. If people are only watching the show to see callbacks to a previous show, I don’t think we’re doing our job.

“We were pretty disciplined in the beginning about not bringing back a lot of Breaking Bad characters until we really established our world. The guiding light for us is always the story of Jimmy McGill, Kim Wexler and Mike Ehrmantraut, and if bringing in an element that previously existed on Breaking Bad – a character, a location, a prop – is going to help us tell the story, that’s when we bring them in.”

He continued: “If we had indulged ourselves, we would’ve had Bryan and Aaron in every episode from the beginning of the show, because we love them. But we really needed to establish the world of Better Call Saul, and I think we did that.”

Better Call Saul
Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman aka Gen Takavic in ‘Better Call Saul’. CREDIT: AMC

Meanwhile, last week, Better Call Saul writer and director Thomas Schnauz addressed the decision to not de-age Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston for their recent cameos.

While the cameos were positively received by many fans, it prompted some discussion around the decision to not use digital de-aging technology on the characters to match their younger appearance in Breaking Bad. It’s been a common complaint throughout Better Call Saul, which serves as a prequel but hasn’t noticeably de-aged any of the characters throughout six seasons.


Speaking to Variety about the issue, Schnauz said: “There’s only so much you can do before it starts looking ridiculous. We don’t do a ton of de-aging on the show. There’s a little bit of stuff on the guys’ faces to take a few lines out here and there, but other than that, Aaron is not going to look like an 18-year-old or however old Jesse was during this time period.”

He added: “I do sort of dread people cutting this scene into the world of Breaking Bad and trying to match the way they look then and now, but it’s not something you can worry too much about.

“It is what it is. We’re telling a story and you can roll with it or you start picking at: ‘He looks much older than he did in the original scene.’ We decided to go for it, and I’m glad we did.”

The sixth and final season of Better Call Saul ends this week, with the final airing on August 15.