Sons of Anarchy could have had a prequel series focused on the First 9, the first members of the club, but it didn’t happen – here’s why.
Sons of Anarchy made way for a spinoff series titled Mayans M.C, but that wasn’t the only project planned for this universe, and there were talks for a prequel series, but it doesn’t seem to be happening anymore – here’s why. Created by Kurt Sutter, Sons of Anarchy premiered on FX in 2008 and was very well received by critics and viewers, which made it possible for the series to live on for a total of seven seasons, coming to an end in 2014.
Sons of Anarchy tells the story of Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), VP of the motorcycle club Sons of Anarchy in Charming, California. Sons of Anarchy’s events begin in season 1 when Jax finds a manifesto written by his late father, John Teller, one of the founding members of the club, and in which he shared his plans and vision for the club. These were very different from those of the current President (and Jax’s stepfather), Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman), sending Jax on a personal journey that makes him question his path, role in the club, relationships, and more.
Sons of Anarchy wrapped up the arcs of Jax and his family, bringing the club’s story to an end and allowing Mayans M.C to explore that of the title club, but another series could have taken the audience a few years back to take a look at the origins of SAMCRO. Back in 2014, Sutter revealed during a live chat (via Nerdcore Movement) that he had plans for a prequel show to the original Sons of Anarchy series. He said it would be focused on the First 9, the founding members of the club, and his idea was for it to be a miniseries, after which he wanted to release John Teller’s manuscript, titled “The Life and Death of Sam Crow”. However, the project is now trapped in limbo after some problems between Sutter and Disney arose.
The Relationship Between Showrunner Sutter And Disney Turned Sour
In October 2019, Sutter was fired from FX after various complaints about his behavior and left the showrunner chair to co-creator Elgin James. As a result, the relationship between Sutter and Disney is quite tense, placing on hiatus his other projects from the universe of Sons of Anarchy (except for Mayans, which is still going strong on FX). Speaking to Deadline shortly after leaving the Mouse House, Sutter explained that the possibility of making The First 9 happen “doesn’t look that hopeful” now, as the studio owns Sons of Anarchy and thus he can’t do anything with it. He added that he wanted the prequel to be a limited series, with four movies telling the story of the club from John Teller and Piney’s time in Vietnam to the arrival of the final member of the original crew, who was Clay.
Parts of the history of the club and the First 9 were revealed throughout Sons of Anarchy’s seven seasons, but not enough to piece the club’s backstory together. A prequel series focused on the First 9 and the origins of SAMCRO would have been the perfect complement to Sons of Anarchy and Mayans M.C as it would have solved many questions and mysteries about the backstory of the club, and while the future of The First 9 doesn’t look bright right now, there’s still some hope that it can happen one way or another in the near future.
Why Sons Of Anarchy Was Canceled
Money drives TV as in any industry, and FX axed the show because they weren’t making money on it. 2014 wasn’t only the year that a Sons of Anarchy prequel series was publicly discussed; it also saw the highly-Shakespearean conclusion of the original series. Judging by some of Kurt Sutter’s comments about the cost of making the show, money seems to be the reason Sons of Anarchy was canceled after season 7. In 2021, Sutter told Hollywood Reporter that the show simply started costing more to make than it was bringing in through ratings and advertising. Sons of Anarchy stopped being profitable, placing it on the studio chopping block. Unfortunately, even widely lauded and influential art comes down to dollar signs and bottom lines in the end.
Still, as sad as it was to see Sons of Anarchy wrap up, the fact that it did so with season 7 really worked in the show’s favor. Jax’s dark and twisted character arc is complete at this point in the series. He’s fully submerged into the darkness that’s at SAMCRO’s core, even killing his own mother. With the walls closing in on him in his personal and crime lives, Jax’s tragic Sons of Anarchy death via a tractor-trailer ends things on a heavily Shakespearean level that adds an extra layer to the show’s overall journey and emotional impact. Sons of Anarchy’s post-season 7 cancelation was a loss for the world of TV crime dramas, but it actually ended up keeping the project’s overall punch quite potent, and fairly succinct in the grand scheme of things, as opposed to watered down over time like many other similar series. Still, if a prequel comes to fruition someday, this could be equally as great as the original show, and a crucial asset to the franchise.
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