Breaking Bad's Mike Ehrmantraut Was Not Originally Planned For The Series

Bob Odenkirk's Saul Goodman was supposed to come in to clean up Jane's body, but the actor was unavailable so the writers created a new one.


Jonathan Banks' character on Breaking Bad, Mike Ehrmantrout, is a central figure in the storyline, but the character was never planned for the AMC series. In fact, the character was created only after Bob Odenkirk, who plays the slippery and dubious lawyer Saul Goodman, was unavailable due to a scheduling conflict.

Rhea Seehorn, who plays Kim Wexler on the prequel series Better Call Saul, revealed this in a new interview with Rich Eisen. She said the original plan was for Saul to come in and clean up the mess after Kristen Ritter's character, Jane, dies from an overdose in Season 2. But Odenkirk was filming the movie Nebraska at the time, so he was unavailable. Due to this, the writers created the character of Mike Ehrmantrout, and the rest is history.

This change was for the best, Seehorn believes, because Saul was originally supposed to clean up the scene in a "cold, unfeeling manner" and it would have marked the beginning of a new, darker path for the lawyer. "That was going to be where his character started to go," Seehorn said.

"[But] he was simply not available. So they made up the Mike Ehrmantraut character. Thank goodness!" Seehorn said. "And Jonathan Banks played [him] and now he is invaluable to the show, that character. Also, I'm so glad that's not how we saw Saul. That would have forever changed how we saw him as well."

In Breaking Bad, Ehrmantraut is the muscle for Gus Fring and Saul Goodman's criminal enterprises. He is eventually murdered by Walter White (Bryan Cranston) at the end of the Breaking Bad series. Fans of the character got to see more of him in Better Call Saul, which further fleshed out his backstory.

As for Seehorn, she will star in Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan's new TV series for Apple.

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