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Kurt Sutter on His New Show ‘The Bastard Executioner’ (and Much More)

Kurt Sutter, the creator of FX series ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and that network’s new series, ‘The Bastard Executioner,’ set in the time of Edward III, spoke to Lacy Rose for The Hollywood Reporter recently, and he readily admitted to being “a dark mother f___er.”

“Eager to secure his next hit,” Rose notes, “20th Century Fox TV locked him into a massive eight-figure, three-year deal in 2014, which catapulted Sutter into the studio’s upper echelon with such heavyweights as Ryan Murphy, Howard Gordon and Steve Levitan.”

Later, the piece explains how his current show came about quickly following a meeting with producer Brian Grazer. “Those closest to him were surprised at how quickly he jumped into another series, having set up the ‘Bastard’ writers room roughly three months before ‘Sons’ had ended. Sutter hadn’t planned it that way, he explains, but he sparked to an idea that producer Brian Grazer presented over lunch in early 2014. Grazer, a major ‘Sons’ fan, had pitched Fox’s Walden a loose concept about an executioner, which both concluded was squarely in Sutter’s wheelhouse. “I really liked that this was as morally complex a profession as you could imagine and one that deals with the highest and lowest order in the culture,” says Grazer,” and I thought Kurt did this amazing world creation with ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and he would be perfect for this.” Walden [of Fox TV Group] arranged a meeting for the two, but says she warned that Sutter was unlikely to sign on. “I was fully expecting Kurt to say, ‘I’m finishing this series that I’ve poured my soul into and I’m not prepared to think about my next show yet.”

Instead, Sutter left that lunch feeling inspired. “You usually come out of those meetings and you just want to blow your f—ing brains out, but I came out of that one going, ‘F—, I want to be that guy. I want to channel my crazy that way,’ ” he says. Sutter dove into the research process — reading everything he could about the medieval period and the executioner’s plight — then came back in to present his vision for ‘Bastard Executioner.'”