Writer will exec produce with Art, John Linson

FX has greenlit the pilot “Forever Sam Crow,” a drama from “The Shield” exec producer Kurt Sutter about the world of biker gangs in Northern California.

Sutter wrote the script and will exec produce along with Art and John Linson; project first hit FX’s doorstep last fall (Daily Variety, Oct. 26).

Casting is under way, along with the search for a director; the exec producers and FX hope to get cameras rolling sometime early next year. FX and Linson Films are producing, while another studio will be brought aboard at a later date.

“Forever Sam Crow” refers to the nickname of the group at the center of the project: The Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original (Samcro). Project was the brainchild of John Linson, who knows several motorcycle club members in Northern California.

To research the script, Sutter also spent several days with members of the Hell’s Angels in Oakland.

“These are regular guys,” Sutter said. “But I didn’t doubt for one second that they couldn’t slit my throat if need be.”

Set in fictional Charming, Calif., “Forever Sam Crow” revolves around 33-year-old Jackson “Jax” Teller, the vice president of Samcro and son of the late club founder. According to Sutter, the character is at a crossroads in life and figuring out his place in both his blood family and his brotherhood family.

Key characters also include Jax’s mother, Gemma Teller, and stepfather, Samcro president Clay Morrow.

Sutter said he wanted to stay away from one obvious plot device — making Samcro a meth-dealing group — and instead has the gang maintaining a gun-running operation.

Scribe said he also wanted to paint a more realistic portrait of motorcycle club members, noting that most TV and film projects depict them either as completely ruthless outlaws or as lovable teddy bears with a gruff exterior.

Sutter and Art and John Linson originally pitched “Forever Sam Crow” to HBO but eventually struck a deal with FX. The pay cabler was apparently interested in the topic, however, having just picked up a different biker gang project from Michael Tolkin.

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