Kurt Sutter joined the cast of Sons of Anarchy to close out Comic-Con 2012 and talk about what fans could expect regarding the upcoming fifth season of FX’s biker drama. One thing that has become a familiar stable of the program is the annual announcement of guest stars lining up to take part in the continuing saga surrounding SAMCRO and its rather turbulent inner workings.

As fans remember, season 4 welcomed Danny Trejo and David Hasslehoff into the mix, while previous seasons have seen the likes of Henry Rollins, Adam Arkin and Tom Arnold all make a visit to Charming in one form or another. Now, in prepping for season 5, Sons of Anarchy has added some surprising actors to take on equally surprising roles.

For starters, this year will give viewers a glimpse of High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale, as she sheds her squeaky-clean Disney image by taking on the role of Emma Jean, a high-priced escort. Additionally, we’ll see Jimmy Smits shedding his familiar tie and suit jacket for attire more befitting a gang member name Neron ‘Nero’ Padilla. Not only does he share his name with a rather infamous Roman Emperor, but he also seems to have taken the current head of SAMCRO – Jax (Charlie Hunnam) – under his wing, which may see the young leader swayed in an unfortunate direction.

While both of those casting choices were certainly unexpected, the announcement that comedian Joel McHale would be making a rare dramatic turn in season 5 was definitely unforeseen – mainly because the actor already has an incredibly full slate with his role in NBC’s Community and his long-standing gig as the host of The Soup on E!

According to reports, McHale will be playing a rather fetching con man named Warren, who eventually comes to find he’s picked the wrong person to swindle. There’s little else known about the character at the moment, other than the fact that McHale has signed on for a multi-episode arc and that he’s been working closely with Katey Sagal (Gemma Teller Morrow). In fact, Sagal confirmed McHale’s involvement by tweeting a picture of the two working together on set.

Beyond the multiple guest stars being added to the season’s storyline, many fans are likely wondering what will be the fallout regarding Jax’s ascension to the top of SAMCRO, and the slap-on-the-wrist punishment Clay (Ron Perlman) received for the various underhanded and murderous dealings he’s committed against members of his own crew.

Check out the recently released poster for season 5 below (click to enlarge):

Perlman had this to say about Clay’s state of mind in season 5:

“Clay only knows one way, and that is to be on top. He takes a back seat to no one. In season five, everything he has worked with his entire life has been taken from him. He’s wife-less, president-less, he’s lost the trust of his crew/family.”

As seen in the above poster, Jax and Clay are clearly going to be viewing the world from a very different perspective. With all eyes now on Jax, will he be able to handle the pressure? And how much more of a threat will Clay become now that he doesn’t have the leadership of SAMCRO to lose?

Sons of Anarchy season 5 will premiere Tuesday, September 11th on FX.

Source: TVLine, The Hollywood Reporter