Reports of the possibility of a Sons of Anarchy prequel series, tentatively titled First 9, have been flying around since way before the series even finished it's run. Sons of Anarchy was a slow burner, but by the time the second season wrapped up it was garnering extremely positive reviews, from both critics and the general public, and it's become FX's most popular show ever.
Kurt Sutter, the series creator, announced back in 2014 that he was planning a prequel series, set around the time of the Vietnam War (50s - 70s) and focusing on the nine founding members of the club.
Anticipation for First 9 has been high ever since the series concluded at the end of last year. But, a new development unfolds! According to a new report by Entertainment Weekly, Sutter is in fact in the initial stages of developing the Sons of Anarchy spin-off, but it's not what you might've been expecting...
Whilst the spin-off will still focus on the North Cal motorcycle gang scene, it's not going to be a prequel. Rather the new series will revolve around the Mayans - who you should remember as the Oakland motorcycle gang who had an off/on partnership with SAMCRO.
Remember the Mayans?
Prostitution and heroin runners, the Mayans started off as rivals back in season 1, stealing guns from SAMCRO and burning down their warehouse. The Sons got their guns back however, and killed a few Mayans in the process. They eventually formed an uneasy true to stop an all out war, with the Mayan's leader Marcus Alvarez giving the Sons permission to kill his son as revenge for an attempted hit on Clay.
By season 2 they were back to being enemies; with Alvarez trying to wage war on SAMCRO the gang becomes involved with Ethan Zobelle whom they protect from Clay and the Sons. In season 3 the Mayans arrange for the drive-by shooting during Half-Sack's funeral, resulting in the death of Deputy Chief Hale. They become allies again in season 4, later establishing new borders under Damon Pope. They don't feature very heavily in season 5, but now that they're friends again Alvarez attends Opie's funeral and assists SAMCRO in breaking up an illegal dog-fighting ring.
In season 6, following the death of Bohai Lin, the Mayans ally with the Lin Triads against SAMCRO and the One-Niners. Alvarez tried to persuade Nero Padilla to ally with him along race lines and later met with Jax to find an accord of sorts regarding the weapons trade. During a deal with the One-Niners Alvarez betrayed them, killing the Niners and stealing the weapons.
Season 7 found Nero desperately trying to keep the peace as a middle-man between the Mayans, the Triad and SAMCRO and when Jax gets out of prison he holds a meeting to try and settle the tensions between the gangs and sets up a new weapons deal. As usual it all ends badly, but Alvarez and Oscar El Oso Ramos - president of the Stockton chapter of the Mayans - survive to see the conclusion of the series.
What does this mean for the prequel?
Well, though it might not be the news that fans have been hoping for, it certainly doesn't mean that the prequel is suddenly off the cards. Kurt Sutter's has previously addressed the anticipation saying that, though he still wants to make the prequel, he wanted to spend some time between Sons of Anarchy and First 9 working on other projects so that he could come back to it fresh.
Indeed it looks like whilst Sutter will be executive producing the Mayans project, he won't be heading up the day-to-day production himself, as he's currently focused on his upcoming drama The Bastard Executioner. Reports indicate that he's currently looking for someone to take over as showrunner for the spin-off, so rather than worrying that the spin-off will scupper the prequel, we can cross our fingers that this means we'll be getting two new Sons of Anarchy series instead of just one.