If you can't smell motorcycle exhaust in the air right now, get ready, because the Sons of Anarchy universe is revving up for a return to FX with the in-development spinoff, currently titled Mayans MC. It took a while for the casting process to get started for the project, currently in the pilot stages, but announcements are coming faster and more furious. Speaking of those two adjectives, Fast & Furious franchise co-star and TV vet John Ortiz has been tapped to play the club president for the Mayans charter at the center of the spinoff.
When John Ortiz steps into the role of Esai "Taino" Osorio, he'll be following in the large and intimidating footsteps of such Sons of Anarchy leaders as Clay Morrow, Jax Teller and Marcus Alvarez, to name a few. Thankfully, it sounds like the Santo Padre Chapter head honcho fits the bill well enough, as Taino's limited description calls him both "smart and deadly." Hard to get a leg up in that life with any other kind of behavior, probably.
Sons of Anarchy's Emilio Rivera hasn't yet been confirmed to appear in Sons of Anarchy: Mayans MC - though his appreciation and excitement for the potential series has certainly been reason to think he had - but the Oakland chapter leader Alvarez is indeed serving as connective tissue for this new brotherhood. John Ortiz will be playing a Bronx native here, according to EW, with Taino years ago changing his life by making a move out to Oakland to live with Alvarez, his cousin. (Cue the dramatic music.) So even if we don't see that familiar face in the pilot, he'd almost certainly have to be there later if FX orders it to series, right?
In an acting capacity, John Ortiz definitely knows his way around a criminal mindset. His first film was Al Pacino's Carlito's Way, and he played drug lord Arturo Braga in two of the Fast/Furious flicks (though not by that name in both), among other roles. He's been all over the small screen as well, bringing the laughs in The Job with Denis Leary, and making the best of short-lived roles in Rake and Luck, with his last recurring gig coming in HBO's Togetherness, which unfortunately got cancelled last year. A role in Kong: Skull Island coming up, too, so a big part on a Sons of Anarchy spinoff would make the future very bright.
As far as everything else we know about Mayans MC, it's set after Sons of Anarchy's brutal events and centers on a tough prospect named EZ Reyes, who is torn between club loyalty and a woman. The lead's casting hasn't been announced, but we do know Battlestar Galactica's Edward James Olmos is tackling the role of his father. (More on his character here.)