Kurt Sutter On Extending ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Past Seven Seasons, Playing Prison-Rape Victim And Being Influenced By ‘The Shield’

Kurt Sutter On Extending ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Past Seven Seasons, Playing Prison-Rape Victim And Being Influenced By ‘The Shield’

The outspoken creator and showrunner of FX‘s highest-rated program ever was his usual candid self at an ATAS event tonight. Kurt Sutter was asked during “An Evening With Sons Of Anarchy” if he plans to take the biker drama past its previously announced seventh season next year. During a long reply in which he basically said he wouldn’t, Sutter actually said he might — or at least could. “There’s so many factors that determine whether a show continues or not,” he began. “I came up with the initial awareness that if this show was being done in sort of the same production model that The Shield was in – and I knew that The Shield had about seven seasons. And I knew that at that point the show ultimately begins to eat itself and becomes more expensive to make. So I thought if we could get a full run I could tell the story I wanted to tell in seven seasons. And I knew by the end of this season I’d have a sense of whether or not I’d be able to do that, and I still think I can.

“But look,” Sutter continued, “I think if I got halfway through this season or at some point next season I felt like I couldn’t finish it, I’d probably be able to have a conversation with the network. … (But) I think after seven seasons I don’t know if we can maintain the rhythm and the pace that we’ve done, and I wouldn’t want to extend it and have it become something that it’s not. So my plan is still to finish it out in seven.”

Related: Kurt Sutter Reacts To PTC Outrage Over Season Debut

So what about Otto, his incarcerated SAMCRO character who feeds on violence and ends up becoming a victim of daily rapes in prison – sometimes onscreen? “I just want to say I’m probably the only showrunner in this town that would take one in the ass,” Sutter said with a grin. “Let me see Matthew Weiner fuckin’ lay down flat and take it in the ass!”

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Jimmy Smits — who has played Nero, an OG and love interest to Katey Sagal’s Gemma, the past two seasons – found himself accidentally unleashing the elephant in the room. Asked by moderator Meg Masters if we’ve seen all shades of Nero, he replied: “Oh no – not all shades of any other these characters. I mean, you have black and white, and then you have many shades of gray that go in between.” As he paused, fellow cast member Dayton Callie chimed in: “Oh, you got it in, you got it in. We were wondering who was gonna get it in.” The panel and audience laughed at what seemed to be a reference to Sons star Charlie Hunnam’s recent pullout from the male lead in Fifty Shades Of Grey. Smits appeared clueless, then suddenly threw his face into his hands and said, “Oh shit!” More reaction from panel and crowd. “I swear to God I wasn’t even thinking about that,” Smits said emphatically. “I’m turning red now.”

The rest of the evening at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood basically was spent dodging plot details of Sons’ current sixth season. The panel also included director Paris Barclay and cast members Maggie Siff. The full video can be viewed here.

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