As the close of Comic-Con 2014 neared, the Sons of Anarchy family assembled in Hall H to discuss the FX show’s upcoming seventh and final season with EW‘s own Sons authority Mandi Bierly. On the panel were creator Kurt Sutter, executive producer/director Paris Barclay, and stars Katey Sagal, Kim Coates, Mark Boone Junior, Tommy Flanagan, Theo Rossi, Dayton Callie, David Labrava, Niko Nicotera, and Drea de Matteo. Absent was Charlie Hunnam, who was unable to attend because he’s “doing important service for Vogue magazine,” as Sutter put it. But thanks to a crowd-pleasing video greeting Hunnam shot for Comic-Con, the afternoon wasn’t an entirely Jax-free affair.
(We’ll post the video as soon as it’s available online.)
Later in the session the opening sequence from season seven was screened, prompting Callie to say, “That just scared the hell out of me,” and prompting the crowd to lose its shit. The panel was equal parts emotional (Sutter teared up as Barclay described how rare it is to find a production, and show, as good as Sons) and interesting, with the discussion stoking plenty of anticipation for the roads ahead.
– Season 7 opens with a gruesome jail scene featuring Jax, and that seems to be a good indication of where Sutter sees the character heading during the final 13 episodes. “This season will be the most proactive for Jax,” Sutter told the audience. “He’s driven, with a singular purpose. Rather than being a reactor to chaos, he will be the inciter. It’s almost like writing a brand new character.” Though Sutter is only about halfway done with the season’s scripts—he’s currently writing episode seven—he seems to have sorted out Hunnam’s fate: “I know where I want my hero to be emotionally and thematically at the end of the season.”
– Sons of Anarchy the TV series may be wrapping up, but Sons of Anarchy the universe is about to expand. Sutter announced a series of books “that will live in our mythology but not impact things that happened [in the show].” The first, “Bratva” (November release), is set after the events of season four and follows Jax, Opie, and Chibs in another Russian-centric storyline.
– Sutter also noted that talks are continuing for a Sons prequel, one that would “be about origins, and involve John Teller and Piney Winston.” Nothing has yet been decided—chiefly whether it would be a full series or just a mini, or how long they’d wait before doing it—but “conversations are ongoing.”
– Since Mandi is the Sons oracle, she knew that Stephen King is a fan. She reached out to see if he had a question, and he did: “Are we ever going to see Bobby do his Elvis thing again?” Sutter made it clear that the days of Bobby Elvis are in the rearview. “I love that slice of Bobby’s life, and I tried to put it into season six,” he said.”But with the nature of everything that was going on, it didn’t feel like Bobby would take the time out to do a gig. That’s the case with this season, too.”
– Last week Mandi polled readers to see which characters they thought would survive the season; today she revealed the results as she introduced each of the panelists. You animals see a good deal of life-snuffing ahead:
60 percent think Wendy lives
64 percent think Rat dies
53 percent think Happy lives
72 percent think Unser dies
63 percent think Chibs lives
76 percent think Bobby lives
81 percent think Gemma dies
63 percent think Tig dies
And the apparent lock is Juice, whom 86 percent of respondents expect to see bite it. Said Theo Rossi as he came to stage, “Eighty-six percent?! I expected at least 95.”
Results for characters of actors not on the panel today:
57 percent think Jax lives
58 percent think Nero dies
56 percent think Chucky lives
73 percent think Lyla lives
68 percent think Marcus Alvarez dies
76 percent think Henry Lin dies