Giancarlo Esposito, known for portraying Gus Fring in Breaking Bad, has a great spinoff idea for his memorably villainous character. Esposito has cultivated a distinct filmography, with a number of unforgettable turns across film and television, but he has a particular fondness for his Breaking Bad antagonist.
First introduced in the season 3 “Mandala”, Gus quickly leaves an impression on viewers. Beneath an amiable and positive public image, Gus gradually emerges as Walter Walter’s greatest and most ruthless foe. For his performance as Fring, which he resumed for the spinoff Better Call Saul, Esposito garnered plaudits and a number of awards and nominations. Although his time as Gus is coming to an end with Better Call Saul season 6, the actor isn’t ready to walk away just yet.
As part of an interview with Esquire, in which the actor also expressed interest for a Moff Gideon spinoff, Esposito also revealed his details thoughts about a Breaking Bad prequel that would place Gus at its center. Tentatively titled The Rise of Gus, the actor’s idea would explore how Fring’s elusive origins informed the man he would become later in life. You can read Esposito’s full quote below.
“I have this whole storyline in the back of my head that he came from political royalty. I feel like Gus came from the world of order. And that his order came. He was a military man. Out of the military, he gained the ability to observe. You can’t lead unless you can follow… In my brain, he was high up in a military government. He could have stayed there and ran the country. It was handed to him. But he chose a different path to be his own man and to find his own power, regardless of what he was handed. This is what he chose.”
Esposito’s idea potentially contradicts what is already established about Gus. Although very little is known about the character’s earliest years, it is revealed that Fring grew up in poverty. By the same token, however, Breaking Bad goes out of its way to stress the difficulty of ascertaining anything about Gus’s life prior to 1986. With some adjustments and tweaks, Esposito’s vision could be worked into a prequel. And beyond any specifics, the actor’s words serve as an indication of how he thoughtfully he approaches his work. It’s certainly, particularly in the earliest appearances of Gus in Breaking Bad, that he’s a figure defined by a sense of order and control. Those traits make it all the more unsettling in the rare instances when the crime boss loses his calculated cool. He’s also a keen observer, a quality which helped to ruin Walter’s plans on a few occasions. Esposito’s careful view of characterization has undoubtedly helped him to land other featured roles on popular series such as The Mandalorian and The Boys.
Although the focus is currently on ending Better Call Saul on a high note. The final season of the AMC drama is slated to begin production in early 2021, having earned a wave of critical acclaim throughout its run. The spinoff is regularly cited as an example of how to continue a story in a way that informs the original while also, largely, forging its own path forward. Considering the success of Breaking Bad and Esposito’s immense talents, the prospect of a Gus spinoff is definitely tempting.