Gould, who created the character of Saul, hints that the spinoff might not quite be what people will expect:
“We’re using the kind of storytelling that we did on Breaking Bad but in a really new way. When people think of a Saul Goodman spin-off, they tend to think in terms of a laugh-a-minute comedy, and we’re going for something that has a very very unique tone. To play with a main character who has the unique morality that Saul Goodman does is going to be in its own way as much of an experiment as Breaking Bad was.”
As for what sparked the idea of building an entire series around the popular character, Gould explained:
“He’s not a character I’ve seen before,” says Gould. “So much of Breaking Bad is about playing out ideas of morality and how you live in the world, and this is a guy who has a philosophy which is internally consistent but is also kind of strange. In addition to the fact that he always amuses us and we’re always ready to see more, the guy is a problem solver. He solves problems in his own way. He’s just as innovative as Walt is, so that really gives us a lot of stories and a lot of places to go with him.”
As good as that sounds, the show could have ended up elsewhere, with Netflix primed the call Saul over to the land of streaming – had AMC not inked a last-minute deal with producers Sony. As THR notes:
..multiple interested distributors — including Netflix, new scripted entrant WGN America and FX, for which Bad was “the show that got away” — ready to pounce on the prequel if AMC could not reach a licensing deal with Sony, say informed sources. Netflix, credited with boosting Bad‘s ratings by allowing fans to catch up via streaming, was seen as an especially strong suitor with deep pockets. AMC had an exclusive negotiating window for rights to the spinoff, but multiple sources say there was discord over the timeline of that window, as well as what the licensing fee would be. Negotiations dragged on late into the summer, with a deal done at the eleventh hour.