Netflix is doubling down on Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter. Sutter, who brought FX viewers the saga of Jax Teller, Opie Winston and the rest of the Sons, is getting a new original series on the streaming platform. The show is titled The Abandons and is set in the Old West. It's not clear how soon he will be able to work on The Abandons, since he is also working on Netflix's This Beast, his first movie as a director. Sutter also co-created the Sons of Anarchy spinoff series Mayans M.C. and served as co-showrunner on its first two seasons before he left FX.
In a new interview with Deadline, Sutter said The Abandons is the realization of a dream that predates Sons of Anarchy. He put his hopes to make a Western on hold after he saw HBO's Deadwood and was so impressed that he went back to the crime genre. During the pandemic, he tried to get the rights to a Western IP, which he refused to name. When that didn't work out, he came up with the idea for The Abandons, even while writing This Beast. While that was going on, former FX executive Danielle Woodrow moved to Netflix, and Sutter pitched the streamer his new idea. It was the fastest green light he's ever received, Sutter said.
When asked what The Abandons is about, Sutter cited his influences for the project. "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," he explained. "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." The Bonanza reruns Sutter watched during the pandemic also influenced the idea.
Sutter even has an outline for the first season, which will show a group of characters becoming outlaws, set before the Civil War. If the show reaches a second or third season, the characters might even meet real outlaws, like a young Billy the Kid for example. Netflix is "excited" about the idea because "the west is literally wild...in that period, most were territories and the typical boundaries of civilized society didn't apply to the Frontier," Sutter said.
The show could also be a commentary on what's going on in the world in 2021, without being too preachy. "Without preaching, there's an organic way to pull those elements into stories that really parallel this ongoing tragedy we're experiencing now," Sutter explained. "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."
The Abandons is Sutter's second project for Netflix. In March, the streamer announced This Beast, which will be produced by Blumnhouse Production's Jason Blum. It is set in an 18th century English village that is attacked by a mysterious beast. A lowly trapper rises to the occasion and vows to stop the beast. The script was inspired by The Beast of Gevaudan, a story about a mysterious beast that attacked a French village in the 18th century.
Sutter gained attention for his work as a writer and executive producer on FX's The Shield. He also created Sons of Anarchy, which ran from 2008 to 2014, and The Bastard Executioner, which aired in 2015. He wrote the script for Southpaw, a 2015 boxing movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal. He created Mayans M.C., which will start its fourth season next year, with Elgin James.