It was announced today that FX has ordered a Pilot for a Sons of Anarchy spinoff about the Mayans, an on-again, off-again rival MC to the Sons. Though not much is known, the series will be co-created by Kurt Sutter with newcomer Elgin James, who will presumedly act as the showrunner should the Pilot be picked up to series, and is writing the Pilot.
Sons of Anarchy is one of my favorite tv dramas ever made. It was the show that got me watching drama more regularly. While I never thought it was the best of the shows I began watching, it was always my favorite show that I watched weekly. Kurt Sutter and his constant fan interaction and dedication pulled me out of a deep rut and got me writing again. Ron Perlman is a personal and professional inspiration of mine, his memoirs similarly helped me out of a dark place. I admit to being disappointed with Kurt’s Sons followup, The Bastard Executioner. So naturally when I heard Kurt would be involved in bringing a Mayan spinoff to the light, I was interested. Like other die hard fans, I would forever be more excited about the First 9 Mini-series Kurt has mentioned wanting to do, but as he’s just helping shape the new show and letting James handle the reigns, I don’t see this as a setback on that front. I eagerly await news on the First 9, but until then, I am more than ready to dive back into that world with the Mayans.
Though I came to like and always enjoyed Emilio Rivera’s Mayan President, Alvarez, unless he’s there to set up a new chapter, I do hope the show is largely comprised of new characters. Some of my favorite actors are the ones that always pop up in various shows and movies but never seem to get the credit they deserve. But there are some actors I would love to see starring in this Mayan series.
Luis Guzman is no stranger to drama, but is often cast in goofy comedies where he is squandered. With impressive credits like Carlito’s Way, Boogie Nights, Oz, and a recent recurring role on Netflix’s Narcos, Guzman has proven he can convincingly portray a menacing criminal. His tenure on Oz as Hispanic gang leader, Raoul Hernandez left a serious impression on me as he terrifyingly implied that Kirk Acevedo's Miguel Alvarez was too white, leading the man to prove himself, blinding a prison guard in one of my favorite arcs of the series. If I had to choose, Guzman would portray one of the founders of the Mayans Motorcycle Club, or the "Alvarez" of another part of the country, in the sense that Alvarez wasn't just President of Stockton's chapter, but head honcho of all Mayans in Northern California and Nevada.
Perhaps best known for his tenure as Angel Batista on Dexter, David Zayas, like his fellow Oz alumni has the talent and presence to portray a lovable goof, or a cold, menacing killer. For the Mayans, I would give him the role of the Chapter’s President(e) Having been disappointed with his role on Gotham as Sal Maroni, this could hopefully be a triumphant return to TV in a major role for David.
Can you tell I liked Oz? I think this is the last Oz actor. Kirk Acevedo is perhaps best known for his roles in the early 2000’s where he had major roles in both Oz and Band of Brothers, Kirk’s career has taken him to a Planet of the Apes movie, Law & Order series, a brief stint on The Walking Dead, and a main role for a time on Fringe. Though he has a main cast role on 12 Monkeys right now, I would love to see him rock a Mayan patch. I would give him the role (especially if Luis Guzman appears referencing their previously mentioned Oz storyline.) of a character nicknamed “El Blanco” for being so light skinned. The character would really be half Chinese, not white, making it the first time Kirk portrays someone of his Chinese heritage.
As a kid, I only knew Amaury Nolasco as Carlos from The Benchwarmers, but I’ve since seen him in various guest roles on a few drama series’ including one of my all time favorites, Justified. I’ve also heard good things from Prison Break fans, a show on my list of things to watch. He is set to appear in the Prison Break revival, though the size of his role is unknown I believe. Amaury has a presence and physicality that could be an asset for a charming, handsome, charismatic Mayan, who could fly off the handle at the drop of a dime.
A new face to American audiences, Juan Pablo just splashed onto the scene with a major role on Netflix’s Narcos as Gustavo Gaviria, cousin and confidant to Columbian drug Kingpin, Pablo Escobar, followed by a recurring role on Marvel's Agents of SHIELD as the Inhuman, Joey Gutierrez, a role with room for expansion so perhaps he might be unavailable. But Juan Pablo has proven to be a solid actor, and has a bright future in English speaking roles regardless.
Not much to say about this Oscar nominated veteran of film and television. The Battlestar Galactica actor had recent stints on Dexter, and Agents of SHIELD. For this man, like Guzman, I would give the role of the Mayans founder. I would also outfit him with a Lemmy, just because. He'd also bring a certain gravitas to the series, just by name.
Probably the choice with the biggest film career at the moment, Michelle might not want to leave that spotlight. But we live in an age where Kevin Spacey & Tom Hardy do TV, so nothing’s impossible. If we need our standard badass old lady, Michelle is the go to girl. I don’t believe she’s done TV since Lost, but there’s like fifty Avatar and Fast & Furious sequels coming out soon so it might not even be an issue of money, or interest, but availability.
Manu Bennett is one of the best tough guys to come out of TV in the last decade. With a badass streak, Manu Bennett came out of his role as Crixus on Spartacus with Azog the Defiler in the Hobbit Trilogy, and Deathstroke on Arrow. Currently starring on The Shannara Chronicles, his schedule might be full, but sometimes the stars align and actors can pull off main roles on two shows a year. Sometimes they don't and you get a rare talent like Oz and Law & Order's Christopher Meloni, who would fly coast to coast frequently so he could have major roles on both shows. Manu brings an intensity that few can match, just what any gang needs. Though he isn't Hispanic, he is of Maori descent. Some Maori actors make their careers off of being ethnically ambiguous, often playing Hispanic or Middle Eastern characters.
One thing I do hope they do in addition to casting any of these enormous talents is cast an unknown actor in the lead role. There's already buzz around the series by being related to Sons of Anarchy, this could be a career maker for the right actor.
What do you think? Are there any actors or actresses you'd love to see in the Mayans series?