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FX is moving forward with Kurt Sutter‘s next act.
The cable network has ordered a 10-episode first season of his ambitious, gory and hotly anticipated period piece, The Bastard Executioner. The Sons of Anarchy creator recently wrapped production on the pilot for the late-Middle Ages-set drama, which is shooting in Wales. Production will resume this summer before bowing on FX this fall.
Bastard Executioner tells the story of a warrior knight in King Edward I’s charge who is broken by the ravages of war and vows to lay down his sword. When that violence finds him again, however, he’s forced to pick up the bloodiest sword of all. The network has high hopes for the fast-tracked series and its creator, who concluded Sons with its most watched season in December. (The latter averaged an impressive 11.7 million total viewers, 7.5 million of them in the coveted 18 to 49 demo.)
“From his important contributions to The Shield to his epic run on Sons of Anarchy, Kurt has been one of FX’s most visionary artists, and we are proud to get him back on the air so soon after the unquestionable success of Sons,” FX chief John Landgraf said in a statement. Added Fox TV Group chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman, whose Fox 21 TV Studios will produce the project with FX Productions: “The Bastard Executioner, written by Kurt and directed by the talented Paris Barclay, is dangerous, brilliant, emotional and undeniable. This is the perfect follow-up to Sons and another huge event series for FX from Fox 21TVS and FXP. Viewers are in for a wild and spellbinding ride.”
Bastard Executioner was created by Sutter, who will serve as an exec producer alongside Empire’s Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo and Sons collaborator Barclay. The cast will feature Sutter’s wife and Sons star Katey Sagal as well as Lee Jones , Stephen Moyer, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Sam Spruell, Darren Evans, Danny Sapani, Timothy V. Murphy, Sarah White, Sarah Sweeney, Elen Rhys, Ethan Griffiths and guest star Matthew Rhys.
“I love history. I love theology. I love blood. It’s been very satisfying weaving fact and fiction to create a new mythology that combines all these elements. And with this extraordinary cast — Stephen Moyer, Katey Sagal and newcomer Lee Jones — this world explodes on screen,” said Sutter, adding: “I love working with FX and Fox21TVS. They’ve been my family for 15 years. They not only tolerate me, they embrace my extremely disturbing storytelling sensibilities.”
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