'Anarchy' players in place at FX


Charlie Hunnam, Scott Glenn and Katey Sagal are set to star in and Allen Coulter has signed on to direct the FX pilot "Sons of Anarchy."

"Anarchy," previously known as "Forever Sam Crow," is a drama from "The Shield" writer/executive producer Kurt Sutter set in the world of motorcycle clubs. Fox 21 has come on board to co-produce the project with FX Prods.

"Anarchy," executive produced by Sutter, veteran feature producer Art Linson and his son and producing partner, John Linson, is a multigenerational family drama that centers on Jack (Hunnam), a man in his 20s who is faced with his own responsibilities as a new father and is unsure how he's going to balance that life with his involvement in the Sons of Anarchy motorcycle club founded by his late father.

Glenn will play Jack's stepfather, the president and patriarch of the club. Sagal will play Jack's mother and the matriarch of the club. The role was written for Sagal, who is married to Sutter.

Along with Sagal, who has appeared on FX's gritty cop drama "Shield," British actor Hunnam and Glenn, who himself rides and repairs motorcycles, were the top choices and the only actors the producers saw for the roles.

"I feel incredibly lucky to get the people I had in mind at the jump who are all incredibly talented," Sutter said.

Sutter said he felt particularly fortunate to land Coulter, best known for his work on "The Sopranos," as he anticipates "Anarchy" to get a lot of comparisons to the HBO drama.

"They tackle two very different worlds, but they also are similar in tone as well as thematically, dealing with guys who have chosen an outlaw lifestyle," Sutter said.

"Anarchy" reunites Coulter with FX, for whom he directed the pilot for the critically praised drama "Damages."

Sutter has been involved in casting the pilot and was in a casting session for the supporting roles Thursday.

He said that at the beginning of the strike, he was conflicted about what he can and cannot do, but, after consulting with other showrunners, he said he feels "very clean" about performing nonwriting duties.

"I feel that my role on the show is very specific as a producer, and I'm not doing any writing," he said. "I would love to take anther pass at the script before it shoots, but I may not get that opportunity if the strike doesn't end before we go into production."

"Anarchy" is slated to begin filming Feb. 14.

FX topper John Landgraf also said he would've liked to have the 57-page script trimmed by Sutter before that, but "we're going to shoot the whole thing as it is," he said. "It's in a pretty good shape."

"Anarchy" has been a relatively quick turnaround for FX, having been pitched to the cable network a year ago. "We've been really aggressive, and we worked hard to get the script in a produceable shape before the strike," Landgraf said.

For the Linsons, "Anarchy" marks the first TV project.

Even with the strike, "it's been a smooth ride along," John Linson said.