As reported by Deadline, Bryan Cranston’s Walter White and Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman won’t be appearing in the first season of Breaking Bad‘s spinoff, Better Call Saul. This confirms what Paul himself said back in June, even though we assumed at the time he was just being purposefully tight-lipped—presumably so he wouldn’t accidentally turn on anyone’s Xbox. But no, this time it comes from Better Call Saul executive producer Peter Gould, who made the announcement “in the interest of full disclosure.” It seems like he and Vince Gilligan don’t want anyone to think this is Breaking Bad: The Phantom Menace and go in expecting there to be constant winks to roof pizzas, being the one who knocks, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
In fact, Gilligan even says that if a cameo from a Breaking Bad character ever “feels like a stunt,” then he’ll “have done something terribly wrong.” Also, he added that—with Better Call Saul being set six years before Breaking Bad—Jesse would be in middle school during the series. We won’t dismiss Paul’s acting ability and say he couldn’t do it, but it would certainly be a bit tough to pull off.
As for whether or not Jesse and Walt will ever show up, Gilligan helpfully clarifies, “We’re not saying it’s never gonna happen. We’re not saying it will happen.” So at least that’s cleared up. Saul already has a second season, though, so there’s still hope. AMC also put out a new trailer for the series which, of course, also doesn’t feature Walt or Jesse. It has plenty of Saul, though—even if that’s not his name yet.
Better Call Saul will premiere on AMC on February 8.