Fans were understandably sad to see FX drama Sons of Anarchy end its seven-season run last year, a fact especially evident by the series' record-high ratings for its swan song. The show was certainly the kind to leave a lasting impression on viewers, which made recent news that creator Kurt Sutter is developing a spinoff all the sweeter.
Reports have said that the show would focus on the Mexican biker gang known as the Mayans, a central figure over the course of Sons of Anarchy. However, it was initially unclear if the new show would serve as a prequel to the original series or leave the door open for crossovers with existing characters.
Speaking with Deadline, Sutter has now cleared up that issue while promoting his new historical drama, The Bastard Executioner. The topic of the Sons of Anarchy spinoff came up, and Sutter confirms that the new show actually won't be a spinoff, though he does have long-term plans for such a project. Here's what he had to say about his idea for a prequel:
"At some point I do have plans to hopefully do the prequel, which I do see as a one-off 10- or 12-episode thing where we begin in Nam and see John Teller and Piney and see how that relationship got created, and bring them back to the States and the obvious external dynamics that were going on with the country and the perception of the war and what an odd kind of perception these vets got when they returned home. And then have it be the development of the club, ending before we start to get too close to some of the mythology that’s already been established."
While Sutter's idea could very well work as a miniseries event, it doesn't appear to be on his radar at the moment, as the Sons of Anarchy spinoff will still center of the Mayans themselves and is more likely to get off the ground before any prequel series. Moreover, Sutter shared a bit of insight into how that decision was made and his approach to the spinoff project.
"The Mayan thing happened as I was talking to Eric Schrier, one of the FX executives I’ve known since The Shield. We were talking about the idea of doing things for other markets, like the Spanish-speaking market. I casually said I’d be open to doing something with the Mayans. It’s the same [biker] subculture, but it’d be interesting to see the influences of that culture and how it impacts the subculture we already understand. I would do a contemporary piece, not a prequel, and place it far enough away from Northern California that it wouldn’t step on the mythology that’s already been told. It doesn’t mean that there couldn’t be some cool, ironic crossovers with familiar characters as the series progressed. I wouldn’t want to set it too close to the world we already know, and step on that. It would be cannibalizing what we worked very hard to create and I wouldn’t do anything to undermine. We’re figuring out what that would look like and I’m in the process of meeting with writers and narrowing it down. My intent is, over the hiatus I’ll initiate a script for the pilot and take it from there."
The way Sons of Anarchy's series finale ended would definitely lend itself to some crossover on the spinoff, and Sutter makes a good point in mentioning that a show about the Mayans could give fans a different perspective at the world of the original show, in the way that Better Call Saul works as a Breaking Bad spinoff but also stands remarkably on its own. Still, it's admirable - not to mention smart - for any new Sons of Anarchy show to be careful not to cheapen the legacy the series has already established. Often, spinoffs risk coming off as exploitative of a fanbase that holds a special place for the first show, and Sutter's outlook appears to be in keeping with that ideal.
The Bastard Executioner premieres on September 15, 2015 at 10pm on FX. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on the Sons of Anarchy spinoff as this story develops.