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The Watchman: Pacino Hunts Nazis on Amazon, 'Saul' Signs Off on Jimmy McGill

Pacino In for Nazi Hunt on Amazon

If you really need another sign that the golden era of TV is here, how about Al Pacino signing on to be in a series? Yes, Pacino stars in Hunters, which premieres on Amazon Feb. 21. David Weil created the show and Jordan Peele executive produces.

Hunters follows a band of Nazi hunters living in 1977 New York. They’ve discovered that hundreds of high-ranking Nazis are living in the area and conspiring to create a Fourth Reich in the U.S., and set out to bring the Nazis to justice.

“Al’s agent read the script, and said, ‘I think there’s something in this character that Al will really respond to,’ ” said Weil.

There were four meetings. Pacino eyeballed all 10 scripts, weighed in on the character, and the story, and he was in. “It was an incredible process,” said Weil. “It’s an absolute dream.”

The idea for the series came from Weil’s talks with his grandmother Sara, a Holocaust survivor. Amidst the tragedy, bits of her stories “sounded like the stuff of comic books and superheroes,” he said.

Weil was eager to put those tales of heroism on screen. “As we move into the next generation, it falls on us to tell their story,” he said.

Weil also liked the idea of showing Jewish people as more than nebbishes. “I wanted Jews to be portrayed with strength and might and power,” he said.

‘Saul’ Signs Off on Jimmy McGill

Season five of Better Call Saul starts up on AMC February 23. The season sees Jimmy McGill, played by Bob Odenkirk, transitioning to Saul Goodman. Better Call Saul inches closer to its forebear, Breaking Bad.

“There’s a lot for Breaking Bad fans to enjoy — it’s racing toward that timeline,” said Melissa Bernstein, executive producer. “You’ll see Jimmy embracing that new identity, and see new business opportunities from exploiting that identity.”

Plenty of Saul viewers never watched Breaking Bad, said Bernstein, who said women seem to be drawn to the relationship between Jimmy and Rhea Seehorn’s Kim Wexler.

Both series are character studies, according to Bernstein, and McGill is a bit more relatable than Breaking Bad protagonist Walter White. “Jimmy offers a little more room for people to connect,” she said. “Jimmy is a naturally optimistic person, naturally upbeat and fun to be around.”

Walter White? “More grim,” she said.

Bernstein promised a closer look at Kim this season. “Viewers will understand more about her back story,” she said.

Season five pays a visit to Omaha, where McGill’s “Gene Takavic” ran that Cinnabon. But it remains shot in Albuquerque. “The folks in Albuquerque are amazingly supportive,” said Bernstein. “I think they feel like they’re part of our team, and we feel like that too.”