Fresh off the production of Better Call Saul’s final season, you’d think that star Bob Odenkirk would take some time off but you’d be wrong. According to AMC Networks, Odenkirk will be part of a fast-track production for a brand-new series called Straight Man, based on the 1997 novel by Pulitzer-winning Richard Russo.
Russo’s hit novel tells a story through the eyes of William Henry Devereaux Jr., who Odenkirk will be playing. As the unlikely interim English department chairman of a small-town, underfunded college, William tells us about the insanity of academia, drops wry commentary on his midlife crisis, and delivers some pretty hilarious lines on just about everything that his painfully average life drops upon him.
“Bob Odenkirk is just as good as it gets,” said Dan McDermott, President of Entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks. “We feel so fortunate to be developing a new show that would keep him at AMC after Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, two iconic series that have been beloved by millions of fans and helped define AMC and its reputation for unforgettable characters and high-quality storytelling for adults.”
The series, which reportedly will launch in 2023, is Odenkirk’s third romp with AMC after Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. With several years of experience as the iconic character, the actor recently tweeted his appreciation for the team, which has stuck with him for over 13 years.
Yesterday an amazing crew of people finished shooting “Better Call Saul” in Albuquerque, NM. It began in 2014, with great writing always leading the charge, and despite challenges of all kinds, our energy and care never flagged. I am honored to have been part of it. pic.twitter.com/6tJICNbleh— Mr. Bob Odenkirk (@mrbobodenkirk) February 10, 2022
Much of his career — and the best TV of the last decade — rests on Odenkirk’s unforgettable performance as Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman. While his character had moments of comedy, it’s interesting to note that Odenkirk regularly ran the stand-up comedy circuit in his early days, perhaps Straight Man’s premise gives the actor a chance to return to those roots.
With a legacy of awards and personal-best performances behind him, Odenkirk himself seems optimistic about Straight Man, according to a recent statement made by the actor:
“I loved Paul and Aaron’s take on Richard’s excellent, entertaining novel,” shared Odenkirk. ”Once again a project with AMC with a focus on character depth and sensitivity. This milieu (academia) seems very pertinent to the conversations we’re all having. I am drawn to the tone of humanity and humor in the novel and I look forward to playing this role – something lighter than my recent projects but still closely observed and smart.”
AMC has not revealed any other cast members for the Straight Man project, although Aaron Zelman and Paul Lieberstein will serve as showrunners – with the latter’s experience on The Office promising for some truly hilarious episodes.
Straight Man is currently under production, while Bob Odenkirk will soon appear on the upcoming April 18th, launch of Better Call Saul Season 6.
(Featured Image Credits: @mrbobodenkirk/Twitter)