Beverly Hills, Calif. — Looking at all the titles next to his name for The Bastard Executioner — creator, showrunner, executive producer, writer, director, The Dark Mute — Kurt Sutter joked that “maybe I’m spread a little thin.”
“There was a part of me hoping (FX) would say no,” Sutter said Friday at the show’s TCA summer press tour panel. Having started working on Bastard Executioner two months before his previous FX series, Sons of Anarchy ended, Sutter said, “I knew it would be a little bit of a marathon.”
The 10-episode series, which premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 15, follows a 14th century knight in King Edward I’s army who is implored to lead the life of a journeyman executioner. Sutter said he wasn’t necessarily looking to do a period piece, but after Sons and The Shield before that, he knew he wanted to do something outside the crime genre.
In conversations with FX Networks head John Landgraf about the main character and world’s complications, Sutter said early on they decided not to have it be a show with “a head in a basket every week.”
“I went in with a lot of the details of the world and mythology,” Sutter said. “It really wasn’t a hard sell.”
During his executive session that morning, Landgraf praised Sutter’s storytelling. “Once you’re in his world,” Landgraf said, “I’ve never worked with anyone better at holding your interest.”
That’s a reason why the first episode will run for two hours before decreasing to one hour for the rest of the season. Another reason? "I think everything's f***ing precious,” Sutter said, “and it's not."