Kurt Sutter’s fictional Northern California backwater town of “Charming” is about to see even more fireworks than it’s used to.
Midway through production on season two of his FX drama “Sons of Anarchy,” exec producer and creator Sutter concedes that Sam Crow, that Charming’s resident biker gang (er, club), is in for some rough times.
“Season two will pick up about a month after the (season one) finale,” notes Sutter, who was working in the studio on post-production stuff when Fancast caught up with him. “And yeah, it’s definitely going to be a rough run for Sam Crow.
Not only did season one leave off with Jack (Charlie Hunnam) seriously considering civil war with club leader Clay Morrow (played by a “Hellboy’s” Ron Perlman), a new, highly formidable rival, a white supremacist group, is now moving into Charming.
Punk legend Henry Rollins will bring his full intimidating presence to bear as the group’s muscle.
“I’m a huge fan of Henry’s from his Black Flag days and from his spoken-word stuff,” Sutter explains. “I had him in mind for a role last year. He wasn’t available, but his people passed the word onto him. We had a general meeting over the hiatus, and it went great.”
With Arkin and Rollins, Sam Crow will have to get over its internal dissension FAST if it’s going to stay in the gun-selling business.
“For Sam Crow, this will be a different type of bad guy,” Sutter notes. “They’ve never dealt with a guy as smart and insidious as Zabelle.”
Sutter says the idea of his “Sons of Anarchy” world – both Sam Crow and the fringe, reactionary political groups the club sometimes comes in contact with — operating under an African-American president intrigues him, and the concept is applied creatively in season two in a number of ways.
“One thing I’d say that is terrifying is that since Obama was elected, these white hate groups have been growing exponentially,” he explains. “The Klan is bigger than it’s been in years. And in the world of MCs (that’s “motorcycle club” to all you fellow Passat and Prius drivers out there), it’s weird that they have every race and religion represented except blacks. You still can’t have a black member of a club.”
To keep things real, Sutter – who carries enough tats and hair to pass himself in MC circles – occasionally attends biker rallies, such as one held recently in the San Fernando Valley, just a few miles from the “Sons of Anarchy” set in Sunland/Tujunga, a location that, unlike a lot of other SoCal locales, doesn’t contain palm trees and can thus pass for a NoCal locale.
He also has a number of MC friends on speed-dial.
“For the most part, they dig me,” he says. “If there’s a problem, I’ll get a phone call, I won’t get a dead fish wrapped in a paper bag.”
Unfortunately for Sutter, who worked under Shawn Ryan on “The Shield” until 2007, he says he’s learned not to even expect as much as dead fish from the TV Academy come Emmy time.
Indeed, after “The Shield” notably yielded an acting trophy for Michael Chiklis during its first season, the show – which, while not necessarily on par with HBO’s similarly anti-hero-themed “Sopranos,” definitely had comparable moments – never received Emmy love again.
“Of course, we care about (the Emmys). It would mean a lot in terms of the credibility of the show if we won,” Sutter says. “But I guess my expectations are really low because of my time on ‘The Shield.’”
But how about Sam Crow? It seems like the guys are just up against too much this year to come through for season three.
“What always works for them at the end of the day is that they’re this brotherhood,” Sutter adds. “The bonds of brotherhood will be tested, but ultimately the things that make them a club will be their salvation.”