Written by Shona Smith on Mar 9, 2021. Posted in Production News

Final season of Better Call Saul begins Production in New Mexico

AMC’s Better Call Saul begins production for its sixth and final season. To date, the show has garnered a 2018 Peabody Award, forty Emmy Award nominations, four Golden Globe Award nominations and six Writers Guild Awards.

The Breaking Bad spin-off prequel stars Bob Odenkirk (Little Women, Fargo) as Saul Goodman, a small-time lawyer who first appeared in Breaking Bad series two, episode eight. The sixth series will wrap up the Breaking Bad saga with a longer than usual thirteen episode run. Original 2020 filming dates were postponed due to Covid-19, and the final series is expected to air in 2022.

Since 2008, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and feature film El Camino have all carried out production in the US state of New Mexico. Over 400 new Mexico crew members, over 150 New Mexico principal actors and over 1,500 background talent will be employed during the filming.

“We are both sad and thrilled to welcome the team of Better Call Saul back to New Mexico to film the series’ sixth and final season. The Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and El Camino productions have had major positive and lasting impacts for New Mexico in so many ways and will always go down in the history books as the productions that changed the game for the film and television industry in New Mexico,” said Amber Dodson, Director, New Mexico Film Office. “Not only did New Mexico’s biggest city, Albuquerque get a major starring role in these productions, but New Mexico’s sky, desert, and locations were showcased unlike anything we have ever seen on the screen before.”

“These productions put New Mexico on the map as a destination for film and television and as a state, we are grateful. New Mexicans everywhere will forever hold tight to the claim to fame as the place where these productions were created,” said Alicia J. Keyes, Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Economic Development Department. “While we are all wanting to know how the two stories intersect, it is truly bittersweet for those of us in the New Mexico film community to announce production on this final season of Better Call Saul.”

New Mexico has grown considerably as a film hub since Breaking Bad first began filming here over a decade ago. In recent years Netflix has invested significantly in production spend in New Mexico and in late 2020 committed a further USD1 billion to expanding ABQ Studios. NBCUniversal's TV and Film Studios will also bring further production.

Albuquerque, the states largest city has ranked first in Movie-makers annual Best Cities to Live & Work as a Filmmaker for the past three years and Santa Fe, the state capital, has featured in the top three Small Towns & Cities list since 2019. In 2020, a state-wide survey found the film industry was the third highest rated industry. Keyes notes that this is “because it provides a high-paying career path for local students who want to work in the entertainment industry. It’s also indicative of the support we hear from business owners who receive benefits from in-state production spending on goods and services”.

The state's rebate system is a drawing factor for productions, and also helps ensure training and a long-term industry in the state. The  maximum refundable tax credit in New Mexico is 35%. The base 25% can be uplifted with 5% additions There are additional 5% uplifts for TV series and standalone pilots, the use of qualified production facilities or sets in the state and for production and postproduction expenditures in certain areas of the state.

Roswell, New Mexico Season 3 is also currently in production in the state. Other recent projects include western drama The Harder they Fall starring LaKieth Stanfield, Regina King, Idris Elba and Zazie Beets, and Jumanji: The Next Level and recent Netflix feature News of the World starring Tom Hanks.




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