James Gunn recently likened his new HBO Max series Peacemaker to the hit Breaking Bad prequel series Better Call Saul.
"I think it's more just in terms of the moments in Peacemaker where we're sitting in a restaurant, Fennel Fields, with our main characters and they're talking," Gunn told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's the ability to take its time in telling the story."
The showrunner further described both Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) and Peacemaker's Christopher Smith (John Cena) as "kind of sad-sack characters who are really good at one thing and then really bad at a lot of other things."
"So I think it's really just taking that incredibly smart dialogue, that relaxed nature of grounded life and then mixing that with the other things that I wanted to do with the show," Gunn continued. "But I love Better Call Saul. I think it's one of the best shows on TV, if not the best."
During the same conversation, Gunn also detailed how his process for writing television scripts differs from writing feature-length projects, noting, "I just watch a hell of a lot of TV. I watch more TV than I do movies; that's how I chill out." He continued, "I took what I know from screenwriting and I just allowed things to play out a little bit more. That's really the only thing. I allowed the dramatic moments to play out more. I allowed the comedic moments to play out more. I allowed the action scenes to go on a little bit longer."
Gunn added that having the ability to tell a story across several episodes gave him the opportunity to better explore, and give more time to, Peacemaker's complicated relationships.
"You could not tell the story of Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and Peacemaker in a movie. It's too weird where they start, where they go and where they end up. They're not really a love relationship — at least not from her point of view," the showrunner explained. "But they're not not that either. So it's just a much more complicated relationship, and you need things to be more cut and dried in a two-hour movie. So I didn't [reference any television scripts]. I've never read a teleplay in my life — that I remember."
While the sixth and final season of Better Call Saul is on track to debut this year, the show experienced a bit of a delay while filming last summer, when Odenkirk collapsed on set after suffering a minor heart attack. Odenkirk later released a statement to fans, saying in part, "I had a small heart attack. But I'm going to be ok thanks to Rosa Estrada and the doctors who knew how to fix the blockage without surgery. Also, AMC and Sony's support and help throughout this has been next-level. I'm going to take a beat to recover but I'll be back soon."
Peacemaker's first three episodes are now streaming on HBO Max, with new episodes airing weekly on Thursdays. Season 6 of Better Call Saul is expected to premiere on AMC this spring.
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Source: The Hollywood Reporter