Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter has finally received the green light to start work on The Abandons, a Western series set up at Netflix. The streamer handed The Abandons a 10-episode series order on Thursday, Deadline reports. Sutter first mentioned the project in a November 2021 interview with Deadline.
The Abandons is set in the 1850s, where a group of families is pursuing their personal Manifest Destiny dreams by reaching Oregon. Once they arrive, the families are met with corrupt characters who want to take their land and force them out. Although these families were the "abandons" of society, they have created their own community and plan to fight back. The series will also explore the fine line between surviving and the law, as well as the consequences of brutal violence and keeping dark secrets among family members.
Sutter will serve as showrunner and is an executive producer under his SutterInk banner. No other cast or crew for the project was announced. Sutter is also developing a film for Netflix called This Beast, which is set in an 18th Century English village that is being terrorized by a mysterious beast.
Sutter dreamed of making a Western series long before Sons of Anarchy, but he put the idea on hold after seeing HBO's Deadwood, he told Deadline last year. During the coronavirus pandemic, he tried and failed to get the rights to a Western IP, so he came up with a fresh concept for The Abandons. As he developed the idea, former FX executive Danielle Woodrow moved to Netflix, and The Abandons was set up quicker than any other project Sutter has worked on.
"I've always been fascinated with the origins of La Cosa Nostra, how these Sicilian peasant families were being more than marginalized by the land barons and the aristocrats," Sutter said of the show's influences. "These families banded together to defend themselves from these abusive land barons, and from that taking those matters into their own hands, La Cosa Nostra was born and became the authority and the law and the order of the land." Sutter said the Bonanza reruns he watched during the pandemic also influenced The Abandons.
Sutter also suggested that The Abandons could make a subtle commentary on today's world. "Without preaching, there's an organic way to pull those elements into stories that really parallel this ongoing tragedy we're experiencing now," Sutter said. "I get to deal with meaningful subject matter in a way that is not shining a light on it, and not on the nose, but a snapshot from a different period that definitely reflects back to what we're experiencing today. So, that's the bones of it."
Sutter shot to fame as a writer and executive producer on FX's The Shield before he created Sons of Anarchy in 2008. He also created the short-lived The Bastard Executioner in 2015. Sutter and Elgin James created the first Sons spin-off, Mayans M.C., which he worked on for two seasons before leaving FX.