When the cast of FX’s Mayans MC represents, they don’t play. Creators of the show Kurt Sutter and Elgin James rolled deep into the ATX Television Festival with executive producer Norberto Barba as well 13 of the show’s cast members including JD Pardo, Clayton Cardenas, Sarah Bolger, Carla Baratta, Richard Cabral, Antonio Jaramillo, Emilio Rivera, Danny Pino, Michael Irby, Vincent Vargas, Raoul Trujillo, Joseph Lucero, and Frankie Loyal to talk about the upcoming series which opens a new chapter in the Sons of Anarchy saga.
Sutter said that the idea for Mayans MC first came about during season 3 or 4 of Sons and was revisited after the series ended and his short-lived medieval drama The Bastard Executioner — which he jokes was “a good idea.” After he “cleansed his palette he was ready to return to the motorcycle world, but he didn’t want to create a Xerox copy of Sons.
“My job is to transition the mythology from Sons and honor that,” he said. “We want to acknowledge where we came from and those fans and balance that with a show that’s original and different and doesn’t feel like a Latino version of Sons of Anarchy.”
He wants Mayans to not be a show that came from Sons, but grow into its own entity. He also jokes that they need to “get the white guy out of the room as quickly as possible,” referring to himself co-creating a show with majority Latino cast.
“I knew a white a guy from jersey shouldn’t be writing about the Latino culture,” admits Sutter. Even though he has experience in writing about the working class and can honor the MC world, he knew he wanted to bring in a voice that was “real and that was not a white guy.” Enter Elgin James who Sutter says “ethnically represents everyone in the audience” and understands outlaws and survival.
“The thing I love about this cast is that they have more jail time than screen time,” said Sutter as the audience and the panel laughed. “It’s a different f*cking energy on set — the level of gratitude is great. When Elgin walked in, I wasn’t the smartest guy in the room anymore.”
James points out that the MC narrative and how gangs are the result of feeling “disgregarded and diminished.”
“You internalize that and you want a family and want to be seen,” said James. “A gang is a group of f*cked up people looking for a family… and you inflict your damage on the world.”
The panel included an exclusive 13-minute preview of the series which premieres in the fall. Set in present day on the Cali/Mexi border in a post-Jax Teller world, Mayans MC deals with ramifications of that as we are introduced to a new narrative that focuses on a prospect in the Mayan MC charter named EZ Reyes played by Pardo who is trying to make his own identity. as the new leading man in this new chapter, Pardo recognizes the legacy and massive fanbase of Sons — and he wants to do right by them with Mayans.
“Everybody here puts in 200 percent we all believe in it,” he said. “We honor Sons of Anarchy with our work and we want to take it to the next level to honor them.”