Kurt Sutter primed fans for the premiere of Mayans MC last week at the ATX Televison festival, promising that the new cast has a unique energy.
"The thing I love about this cast is that they have more jail time than screen time," Sutter told the audience at his Mayans MC panel, according to a report by Deadline.
Sutter spoke at length, vouching for the authenticity of the show. The premise grew out of his last big hit, Sons of Anarchy, but Sutter promised that Mayans has its own gritty realism, and is not simply an extension of his previous work.
"It's a different f—ing energy on set — the level of gratitude is great," he said. "When Elgin walked in, I wasn't the smartest guy in the room anymore."
He was referring to Elgin James, who joined Sutter as the co-creator of the new show. Sutter reportedly sought him out to legitimize the Latino point-of-view on the show, feeling that, as a white person, he was not equipped to tell an honest story in that world on his own.
"I knew a white a guy from jersey shouldn't be writing about the Latino culture," Sutter said. "He brought James in because he was "real and that was not a white guy," and claims that he "ethnically represents everyone in the audience."
James also vouched for the authenticity of everyone on the fledgling cast. He said that the story centers on the mentality that leads to gang culture — one of feeling "disregarded and diminished."
"You internalize that and you want a family and want to be seen," James added. "A gang is a group of f—ed up people looking for a family… and you inflict your damage on the world."
The panel also included the series' star, J.D. Pardo, who said that the cast took their cues from the incredibly successful run of Sons of Anarchy.
"Everybody here puts in 200 percent we all believe in it," he said. "We honor Sons of Anarchy with our work and we want to take it to the next level to honor them."
The audience got an exclusive sneak peek at the show's first 13 minutes, presumably showing the connective tissue between the familiar world that Sons lived in, and this new one.0comments
"My job is to transition the mythology from Sons and honor that," said Sutter. "We want to acknowledge where we came from and those fans and balance that with a show that's original and different and doesn't feel like a Latino version of Sons of Anarchy."
Mayans MC is expected to premiere later this year.