Better Call Saul is the renowned spin-off series to its predecessor Breaking Bad completed its six-season run on August 15. AMC has now announced that Bob Odenkirk and Giancarlo Esposito will not be leaving the network just yet, after witnessing the nuances they brought to their iconic characters over the years.
Odenkirk, who nailed the role of ethically challenged lawyer Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, will star in the network’s new series Straight Man. Esposito, who played the drug-dealing Gustavo Fring on both AMC shows, will play the lead in The Driver.
Straight Man is based on the novel of the same name by Richard Russo and tells the story of William Henry Devereaux Jr., the unlikely chairman of the English department at a poor-funded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt. The show has been described as a mid-life crisis story set at Railton College in the midst of a fractured department, told in the first person by Devereaux, a born anarchist.
The novel will be adapted for the screen by Aaron Zelman and Paul Lieberstein, who will also serve as co-showrunners and executive producers on the series. Peter Farrelly, one-half of the filmmaking duo the Farrelly brothers, is also on board to direct and executive produce. In addition to playing the lead, Odenkirk will serve as executive producer.
Dan McDermott, AMC Networks’ entertainment president, and AMC Studios praised Bob in his own words. Bob also gave his thoughts on the show.
“Bob Odenkirk is just as good as it gets. We feel so fortunate to be developing a new show that would keep him at AMC after Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, two iconic series that have been beloved by millions of fans and helped define AMC and its reputation for unforgettable characters and high-quality storytelling for adults.”
“I loved Paul and Aaron’s take on Richard’s excellent, entertaining novel. Once again a project with AMC with a focus on character depth and sensitivity. This milieu (academia) seems very pertinent to the conversations we’re all having. I am drawn to the tone of humanity and humor in the novel and I look forward to playing this role – something lighter than my recent projects but still closely observed and smart.”
Esposito is in AMC’s remake of the British drama The Driver. Creators Danny Brocklehurst and Sunu Gonera, as well as showrunner Theo Travers, are behind the six-episode series, which began filming in New Orleans earlier this month. Esposito plays Vince, a taxi driver whose life is turned upside down when he agrees to chauffeur The Horse, a New Orleans-based Zimbabwean gangster known for exploiting undocumented immigrants at Southern US ports, played by Zackary Momoh.
Skeet Ulrich will play Colin, an old friend of Vince’s, while Paula Malcomson will play Ros and Bonnie Mbuli will play Shamiso Tongai. Arica Himmel, Ivan Mbakop, and Dax Rey round out the cast. Esposito, Gonera, Brocklehurst, Travers, and David Morrissey, who played Vince in the original series, will executive produce with Josh Kesselman and Danny Sherman from Thruline and Barry Jossen and Tana Jamieson from A+E Studios. ‘I am over the moon excited, enthused, and inspired to be in collaboration with the stellar network and creative team of AMC!’ Esposito told the outlet. “Thanks for believing in me. It’s great to be back home!” The Driver is set to be launched sometime next year.
Better Call Saul proved itself to be pure television magic through and through. Every little detail played its own significance in the entire masterpiece and the finale couldn’t have been any more perfect. Fans yearned for more, and the OG Gus and Saul will return soon! To get the latest updates, keep an eye on Thirsty.
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