Bob Odenkirk will play the lead role in a new AMC adaptation of Richard Russo’s novel Straight Man.
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The Better Call Saul actor will play William Henry Devereaux, Jr., the chairman of the English department in an underfunded college in Pennsylvania.
The new series is being developed by Aaron Zelman (Silicone Valley) and Paul Lieberstein, who are adapting the book and would serve as co-showrunners, according to Deadline. The latter is best known for his performance as perennially undermined HR rep Toby Flenderson in the US version of The Office, which he also executive produced.
Straight Man, expected to arrive in 2023, will be Odenkirk’s third series for AMC, following Breaking Bad and its spin-off show Better Call Saul, which will see the release of its sixth and final season this month after seven years.
“I loved Paul and Aaron’s take on Richard’s excellent, entertaining novel,” Odenkirk said in a statement. “I am drawn to the tone of humanity and humour in the novel and I look forward to playing this role – something lighter than my recent projects but still closely observed and smart.”
Last month (March 17) Odenkirk opened up about the time he was robbed at gun-point.
The 59-year-old actor explained that the incident occurred as he and his then-girlfriend were leaving an improv show in Chicago, telling the Armchair Expert podcast that “somebody pull[ed] a gun” on him and his partner while they were sitting inside a car at around 1am and demanded cash.
“So I give him the money and he goes, ‘Get your girlfriend out of the car. I want her jewellery.’ And – I want to credit this not to my bravado or courage but to how tired I was – I go, ‘What the fuck?’
“I go, ‘Look how much money you got, get the fuck out of here. You should go!’ And he stands there right by the window of the car not sure what to do and I go, ‘Run! Go!’ And then he does. He leaves and we call the police.”