It’s official: Breaking Bad‘s baddest villain is back in business.
Giancarlo Esposito will reprise his role as drug kingpin Gus Fring on Season 3 of Better Call Saul, AMC confirmed Saturday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. In fact, Esposito joined the rest of the Saul cast, including stars Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks, on the show’s press panel to promote the third season, which also got a premiere date: Monday, April 10 at 10/9c.
Esposito played meth cook Walter White’s most terrifying adversary for three seasons on Breaking Bad, earning an Emmy nomination for the role in 2012. Yes, Fring ultimately died in a gruesome explosion in Season 4, but Saul is a prequel to Breaking Bad, showing us the early years of White’s lawyer Saul Goodman (back when he was Jimmy McGill), so that allows Esposito to return as Fring.
Fring’s arrival on Saul has been teased in numerous ways — including a faux ad for Fring’s Los Pollos Hermanos fried-chicken chain released earlier this week. But Saturday’s press panel made it official, with Esposito coming out in character as Gus, handing out boxes of fried chicken to reporters and shouting that at his restaurant, “something good is always cooking!”
So what does Saul have cooking for Gus Fring? Esposito hints that when we see Fring again, he’s not the indestructible villain we knew on Breaking Bad: “We’re at a time where he’s a little more immature than where we left off. He’s still finding his way.” But he adds that “it would be wonderful for me to [see] the rise of Gus, because I think there’s enough backstory within Gus to support that.”
A logline for the new season teases that Banks’ character “Mike searches for a mysterious adversary who seems to know almost everything about his business.” Hmmm… sounds like the Chicken Man to us. AMC’s press release also promises that “backstories are further illuminated with meaningful nods to the Breaking Bad universe.”