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Bob Odenkirk updates status of his project on Minneapolis writer David Carr

Bob Odenkirk/AP photo

The usually tight-lipped crew from "Better Call Saul' was in a revealing mood this past weekend, sharing spoilers from the upcoming third season, including the return of Gus Fring, the beloved villain from "Breaking Bad." Giancarlo Esposito, who played the fast-food franchise king/drug dealer in the previous series, even made an unexpected appearance, passing out boxes of chicken to members of the press and trading verbal jabs with co-star Jonathan Banks, another actor who has a role in both dramas.

But after the panel, star Bob Odenkirk was much stingier with details on his side project, one with a decidedly Minnesota angle.

In April, it was announced that AMC and Odenkirk were developing a mini-series based on 'The Night of the Gun,' a memoir by the late David Carr, who cut his teeth in the Twin Cities alt-press universe before becoming a star at the New York Times.

"I can't tell you much," said Odenkirk as a publicist edged closer to our conversation. "I'd get in trouble with the network."

He did that say that writers had turned in a first draft, but would not provide a timeline on when shooting might start.

"I'm going to take my time and do it right," said the Emmy-nominated actor who, in addition to producing,  is also expected to portray the writer.

Odenkirk did confirm that he had visited the Twin Cities this past June for research purposes.

"We established a few things, one being that much of the landscape has changed, especially in places David hung out a lot," he said.

Does that make it less likely that production will actually take place in Minnepaolis?

"I suppose it makes it less likely," he said. "But that's down the line."

"Better Call Saul" returns to AMC in April.

Two Twin Cities theater artists win national fellowships

Twin Cities actor, director, teacher and theater founder Luverne Seifert has won a $25,000 distinguished fellowship from the Bethesda, Maryland-based William and Eva Fox Foundation. Meanwhile theater artist Taous Claire Khazem has won a $15,000 fellowship for exceptional merit.

These two are part of a national cohort of six artists supported by the foundation, which underwrites training and career development for talented performers.

The support will enable Seifert and Khazem to deepen their knowledge of their art form and to work on projects.

Seifert (left) recently finished a run playing a nice gangster in Dark and Stormy’s production of “The Norwegians.” In the past 25 years, he’s acted at a myriad of theaters nationally and in the Twin Cities, including at the Children’s Theatre, where last fall he appeared in the premiere of Naomi Iizuka’s “The Last Firefly,” and at Ten Thousand Things, where he’s had a decades-long association.

He will travel to France and Switzerland to study technique with two master clowns for use in a piece about workers stuck in a small town.

Khazem (right) acted last summer in "Bars and Measures" at the Jungle Theater. In addition to her extensive work in the Twin Cities, she has performed and taught in Algeria. She is currently assistant director to Rachel Chavkin at the Guthrie Theater for “Royal Family.”

Under the aegis of Mixed Blood Theatre, which is located on the West Bank in Minneapolis, she intends to work with the Somali community on an inter-generational folktale project.

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