‘Better Call Saul’ Writers Found Inspiration in 1 Surprising Place

In many ways, Better Call Saul writers had a much easier time with character development. Most of their subject matter already existed and Breaking Bad fans required no introductions to the original cast. Saul Goodman (also known as Jimmy McGill), Gus Fring, Mike Ehrmantraut, and so many others were old friends by that point.

But the Better Call Saul crew also had a lot of expectations to live up to after the hype surrounding Breaking Bad. That must have been some of the motivation behind their turning to a unique yet genius place for creative inspiration.

‘Better Call Saul’ is a prequel to ‘Breaking Bad’

Better Call Saul isn’t just another spinoff. Instead, showrunner Peter Gould, who also worked on Breaking Bad with Vince Gilligan, took on the gigantic task of describing events that happened before Walter White and Jesse Pinkman teamed up to sell meth. Because it was a prequel, all of the timelines and details had to match up perfectly. Fans would not let any errors slide.

Gould wasn’t the only Breaking Bad veteran to join the Better Call Saul project. And even if they hadn’t worked there, everyone involved needed to have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the signs and symbolism throughout the original show. They stayed up to date and inspired with fan art.

Producers for ‘Better Call Saul’ printed photos of fan art as décor and inspiration

'Breaking Bad' grafitti of Walter White on a wall in Barcelona
‘Breaking Bad’ fan art of Walter White | Josep Lago/AFP via Getty Images

Everyone knew Better Call Saul had to be exceptional with expectations so high. So the writing team went to the fans to find some content to spark those creative juices. They filled the blank white walls of their workspace with colorful, unique imagery of the characters.

“We printed out every image we could find from Tumblr and Twitter and Instagram,” producer Jenn Carroll told Washington Post. She confirmed that their goal was to, “inspire the writers and surround them with the excitement around these characters.”

Now the ‘Breaking Bad’ fan art was turned into a book

It would have been enough just for the Breaking Bad fan art to encourage better character development in the Better Call Saul writer’s room. But now, these special pieces are delighting a whole new audience as part of a book. 99.1% Pure: Breaking Bad Art is a 232-page collection of art pieces, which include everything from Walter White mosaics to hand-painted sculptures of Jesse Pinkman.

This makes perfect sense considering what a fan of art Gilligan is. He admitted to enrolling in art school before dropping out when realizing his talent wasn’t as advanced as the other students. Now the Breaking Bad creator is grateful to be surrounded by creative people while developing his other favorite skill: storytelling.

When asked if a Better Call Saul fan art book was possible, Gilligan hinted that it was a possibility. “From your mouth to God’s ears,” he told Washington Post of the prospect.

Season 6 of Better Call Saul is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2022.

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