BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Michael McKean is joining series star Bob Odenkirk in AMC's "Better Call Saul," the much-awaited prequel to "Breaking Bad," with Jonathan Banks, another star from that wildly popular drama, also set for the new venture.
Best-known from the film "This Is Spinal Tap," McKean will play the brother of Saul Goodman, the character originated in "Breaking Bad" by Odenkirk. Banks will continue in his role as "fixer" Mike Erhmantraut.
Other cast members announced Friday at the summer TV critics' tour include Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian and Michael Mando.
"Better Call Saul" takes place in 2002, about five years before the starting point of "Breaking Bad." It vaults wily lawyer Saul Goodman from supporting status as the counselor for meth dealers Walter White and Jesse Pinkman (who were played by "Breaking Bad" stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul) into the series spotlight.
But when "Saul" viewers meet him, the man who will become criminal lawyer Saul Goodman is known as Jimmy McGill, described as "a small-time lawyer searching for his destiny and hustling to make ends meet."
On the heels (though not soon enough for impatient fans) of "Breaking Bad," which concluded its AMC run in September, "Saul" is set to premiere in January for a 10-hour first season. A second, 13-episode season has already been ordered.
Vince Gilligan, who masterminded "Breaking Bad" and has co-created "Saul" with Peter Gould, told reporters that cooking up the new series is "a leap of faith or stupidity into the unknown."
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