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Jonathan Banks Joins ‘Breaking Bad’ Prequel ‘Better Call Saul’

Jonathan Banks Joins 'Breaking Bad' Prequel 'Better Call Saul'

The magic of prequels is that they take place in a simpler time, before cancer-ridden meth-cooking high school teachers arrive on the scene to make trouble for everyone. That magic has allowed shady lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) to be reunited with Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), his occasional fixer and investigator. Deadline reports that Banks has boarded “Better Call Saul,” the upcoming AMC series taking place before the events of “Breaking Bad,” as a series regular.

Of all the characters from “Breaking Bad” that could make regular appearances in “Better Call Saul,” Mike is really the most natural fit. The former Philly cop turned Los Pollos Hermanos enforcer was introduced in the second season of “Breaking Bad” as already having a working relationship with Saul. “Better Call Saul” could explore the earlier days of that arrangement or even how it came to be, with the bonus of Mike’s presence providing an easy way for the new show to, perhaps, bring back another beloved character from the original series — Giancarlo Esposito’s Gus Fring.

And the prospect of more world-weary, impressively competent Mike is an exciting one — the role earned Banks an Emmy nomination in 2013. So far, Banks and Odenkirk are the only actors set for “Better Call Saul,” which will premiere in November, though other “Breaking Bad” cast members have expressed interest in taking part in the spinoff. Banks is currently playing a recurring role as Professor Buzz Hickey on “Community.”

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