Did Trump Almost Kill the ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Spinoff?
Ever since its mid-2000s heyday of Nip/Tuck, The Shield, and Rescue Me, FX has boasted one of the strongest track records for original programming of any cable network. Yet, Sons of Anarchy still stands as one of the most successful and critically acclaimed series in the channel’s history. Following the series finale in 2014, creator Kurt Sutter expressed his interest in keeping the franchise alive. A spinoff centering on rival club, the Mayans remains in development, but the changing political landscape may have just inspired Sutter to pump the brakes on his idea for a prequel series for Sons of Anarchy.
Following the divisive victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Sutter released an extensive statement that indicates that he may be second-guessing his decision to pursue a series that would delve into the origin of the original series’ Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original (SAMCRO). The prequel project would center on the First 9, or the members who founded the club and would follow John Teller in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, ultimately leading to the creation of SAMCRO. As such, Sutter has described it as very reflective of the complex political and social landscape of the day, a milieu that certainly calls to mind current events.
Here is an excerpt from Sutter’s message:
I am, like all Americans, accountable for the current political landscape. Regardless of what you think of Mr. Trump, he won by a solid electorate margin. So if I truly believe in the democratic process, I have to not only accept that outcome, I have to own it. Whatever divide exists in this country, I am responsible for my part in that equation.
Have my actions inspired unity or a greater separation?
I don’t know much, but I do know from experience that apathy and resentment are soul crushing defects of character. They create the damaging cycle of blame, passivity, and reactiveness.
But if I shift my perspective from sedentary doom to active hope, I can give Mr. Trump and his conservative congress the benefit of the doubt and trust that the nightmare scenario I might be spinning in my head, will, like every other expectation I’ve had about this election, play out differently. In other words, the only outcome of fear and hate is more fear and hate.
The demographic of our country continues to shift. Although not evident in Tuesday’s results, women, people of color, and young people are sliding into an inevitable majority. The impact of that vote, or more importantly, the lack of it, might be the greatest lesson in this election. The power of what could have been, should inspire a call to action.
My point is this. I love being a misanthrope. My default is always anger and aggression. I feel empowered when I eviscerate the things that I don’t like. Or more accurately, the things that scare me. But I know to dump hate and fear on top of this precarious political climate makes me part of the problem.
So for my own sanity and in the spirit of hope for my kids and all citizens of the world, I promise to look for the similarities rather than the differences. And instead of complaining about beliefs and policies I don’t think are right, I will try to put that energy into something productive that incites change rather than derisiveness.
Regardless of how one feels about the election results, Sutter is certainly entitled to his perspective and appears to be genuinely motivated to not heap more negative emotions on top of all the hate, resentment, fear, and bitterness currently on display. While it’s unclear exactly how his change of heart will affect the prospective Sons of Anarchy prequel, his decision to focus more on positive modes of creative expression is understandable and even laudable, given the circumstances surrounding it.
In any case, the Mayans MC spinoff is already in the works. So fans of the Sons of Anarchy franchise still have plenty to enjoy. Yet, there hasn’t been an update on the project in a few months, despite having received a script order over at FX. Stay tuned for more information on the spinoff and any other projects Sutter may have on his plate, as he is never shy to share what he’s up to on social media. With any luck, an announcement is on the horizon.
[Update, 11/15/16: Actor Emilio Rivera, who played Marcus Alvarez in ‘Sons of Anarchy’, (see image below) recently confirmed via Instagram that he will be reprising the role on the upcoming spinoff show.]
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