Millions of Breaking Bad fans have been in a withdrawal period since the phenomenal series (one of the very best to ever air on television) ended last September. Nothing since has been able to fill the void left by Walter White and company. But perhaps soon we can take a breather. The much-anticipated Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul is getting ready to start filming in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the new series is set.
AMC has signed up for 24 episodes of Better Call Saul, the prequel to Breaking Bad. The series centers around Walter White's ever-resourceful criminal lawyer Saul Goodman. Portrayed by Bob Odenkirk, Saul is one of Breaking Bad’s most popular characters. The one-hour long series also has another Breaking Bad alumni on board, Jonathan Banks, played by the magnetic Mike Ehrmantraut.
Better Call Saul plans to hire 75-90 locals in Albuquerque to work on the production. "We welcome this incredible production team back to the state," Nick Maniatis, director of the New Mexico Film Office, stated in a statement. "They have proven to be excellent partners with the city of Albuquerque and the state of New Mexico."
“Given the tremendous acclaim associated with Vince Gilligan’s productions, we are thrilled to learn that Better Call Saul will be filmed in Albuquerque,” said Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry. “We enthusiastically welcome back Sony and AMC and are proud to add this production to the long list of creative and original shows filmed in our city.”
Breaking Bad single-handedly brought many of its fans to Albuquerque to visit the locations where the series were filmed. To accommodate the huge influx of visitors coming to Albuquerque to specifically visit Walter White's world, the city even sets up its own Breaking Bad Film Location Tours ranging from a Breaking Bad RV Tour to a Breaking Bad Bike Tour. And if you're the independent type who likes to explore on your own, there's also self-guided Breaking Bad Film Location Map.
“Albuquerque itself has become a character in our show. A really important character in our show,” said Bryan Cranston (the actor portraying Walter White in Breaking Bad), in a radio interview. “It gave it a justifiable location. A sound, solid place that not many people have related to. They’ve seen Los Angeles, they’ve seen New York, but they haven’t really seen Albuquerque and New Mexico.”
Cranston isn't the only fan of Albuquerque from Breaking Bad. Vince Gilligan, the creator of the series said he can't imagine setting the show anywhere else. It's no wonder he decided to also set and film the spin-off in Albuquerque.
"Albuquerque has meant the world for Breaking Bad. I can’t imagine the show would be nearly as interesting as it is if it were set anywhere else. Just the cinematography and the look of the show," said Gilligan in an interview by Local IQ. "When I think of Albuquerque, I think of clouds, just those beautiful floating cumulus clouds. The skies. These are skies you just don’t see in Southern California. You really get the depth and the sense of scale in the desert in Albuquerque. On days when I’m out there on the set, the first thing I do is look out the window. If it’s a day with no clouds, I get really upset! I think about the Sandias and about this great city that I’ve grown to love."
Looks like there’s hope that the Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul will continue to carry the film location torch to New Mexico in the same grand manner.
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