the bastard executioner

Given the massive success of the violent biker drama Sons of Anarchy over its seven-season run, it seems like a no-brainer that creator Kurt Sutter would be able to take his creative vision in any direction he wanted. Where he chose to go was the Middle Ages for another epic story, and FX has officially decided to go right along with him, as they have confirmed a series order for The Bastard Executioner. Get ready for more bloody mayhem from one of TV’s best storytellers.

Obviously not wanting to give viewers more than they can handle, FX has ordered up 10 episodes of The Bastard Executioner, which is set to hit the network’s schedule this fall. To mark the occasion, FX released the very first official photo from the show, seen above, which features newcomer Lee Jones as the hardcore Wilkin Brattle. Long hair, swords and fire. This is basically everything we expect from Sutter’s historical fiction.

Speaking of, here’s how the former Shield writer reacted to the series order.
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 onscreen. 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.

As do all of Sutter’s fans, although I will forever have trouble accepting the fateful arc of Opie Winston. That said, I’m hoping to find a similar viewing kinship with one of the many characters that The Bastard Executioner has to offer.

The Bastard Executioner first went into development near the end of 2013, with the pilot production taking place earlier this year in Wales. It will tell the story of Wilkin, a warrior knight for King Edward I who chooses to leave his war-torn past behind, only to have it later find him again, forcing him into an even bloodier future.

And if Sutter’s name wasn’t enough, this cast is as solid as they come, and they all have ridiculously complex character names. Not only are the aforementioned Katey Sagal and Stephen Moyer a part of it, but the show also boasts Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Danny Sapani, Timothy V. Murphy, Sam Spruell, Darren Evans, Sarah White, Sarah Sweeney, Elen Rhys, Ethan Griffiths, and Sutter himself. The Americans star Matthew Rhys is set for a guest role, and the series also has Emmy Award-winning director (and frequent Sutter collaborator) Paris Barclay behind the camera.

Production on The Bastard Executioner is set to resume this summer on the way to its fall premiere on FX. And if it manages to attain the kind of viewership that Sons of Anarchy had when it ended, we’ll likely see the exploits of Wilkin Brattle for many years to come.

Photo Credit @FX

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