Kurt Sutter, who brought Shakespearian gravitas to biker gangs on Sons Of Anarchy, is bringing his particular brand of shit-kicker storytelling to the Middle Ages in his new project, The Bastard Executioner, set during the reign of King Edward I. FX announced Friday that it would be picking up a 10-episode first season of the show after a pilot was successfully shot in Wales. “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 this world explodes on screen,” Sutter says.
Australian newcomer Lee Jones is set to play the lead, Wilkin Brattle, a knight in King Edward’s court who has vowed to lay down his sword and fight no more. But a show about peaceful knights who have retired from sword fighting would be rather dull, so, as the press release states, “when that violence finds him again [Brattle] is forced to pick up the bloodiest sword of all.”(Whether he’s a bastard who executes people or a person who executes bastards is unclear.)
Joining in on the bloodshed will be True Blood’s Stephen Moyer as Milus Corbett, Brattle’s confidant, chamberlain, and friend. As we previously reported, Sons Of Anarchy star and Sutter’s real-life wife Katey Sagal will also appear as Annora of the Alders, a mystical beauty who knows her way around potions. Eager to get in on the medieval action, Sutter has also cast himself in a co-starring role.
The Bastard Executioner boasts plenty of odd character names that any critic’s spellcheck would find disagreeable, like Baroness Lowry “Love” Aberffraw Ventris, who will be portrayed by Flora Spencer-Longhurst. (Or perhaps it’s Flora Spencer-Longhurst being portrayed by Baroness Lowry “Love” Aberffraw Ventris? Either way, she’s “as cunning as she is beautiful.”) Rounding out the cast are Sam Spruell, Darren Evans, Danny Sapani, Timothy V. Murphy, Sarah White, Sarah Sweeney, and The Americans’ Matthew Rhys in a guest-starring role.
Sutter’s previous FX series, the hillbilly Hamlet Sons Of Anarchy, concluded its seven-season run in December of 2014. The Bastard Executioner will continue production in Wales this summer and is slated to premiere on FX this fall.