Kurt Sutter may have risen to prominence crafting gritty, street-level stories about roguish antiheroes that play both sides of the law, but the Sons of Anarchy creator has been announced to make his feature directorial debut on grim-sounding period horror piece titled This Beast. Currently in development at Netflix, This Beast will be produced by Jason Blum and his Blumhouse outfit. In addition to directing, Sutter will also write This Beast as well as produce.
This Beast has been described as having religious and puritanical undertones, with the dogged hero at the center set to have a deeply personal investment in the hunt, while the project is inspired by the tale of The Beast of Gévaudan, a creature that terrorized a French village in the 1760s. According to an official Blumhouse release, the synopsis of This Beast reads:
“An 18th century English village is besieged by a mysterious and elusive beast. Dozens of innocents are slaughtered and the mayhem is driven to puritanical heights by religious fanaticism. The impossible task of killing the beast falls to a lowly trapper who promises he can stop the carnage. But for him this hunt is not a professional mission, it’s a deeply personal one.”
Sutter released a statement for the announcement of This Beast, sharing his excitement over the new project:
“Bringing my disturbing, familial story sensibility into the Blumhouse world just seemed like something that had to happen. And ‘This Beast’ is the perfect project for that marriage. And Netflix is the perfect venue for that bloody ceremony.”
To this, Blum added in his own statement: “We’ve long been fans of Kurt and his unparalleled storytelling — that’s both visceral and packs an emotional punch. We’re excited that Blumhouse is producing his first feature for Netflix.”
This Beast will mark just Sutter‘s second feature credit of any kind, after he scripted the Antoine Fuqua-directed boxing drama Southpaw, which starred Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role. Sutter may be best known for his small screen work for FX after creating biker drama Sons of Anarchy, having previously served as a writer, story editor and later producer on Shawn Ryan‘s The Shield, but he’s no stranger when it comes to venturing into the world of grisly period trappings either. He also developed and spearheaded the short-lived TV show The Bastard Executioner, which was canceled after one season in 2015.
Having proved his worth on television as someone more than familiar with creating deeply troubled protagonists painted in shades of grey that audiences can’t help but root for, as well as his previous experience tackling the dark and dingy world of historical power struggles in The Bastard Executioner, This Beast seems like the ideal candidate for Sutter to step behind the camera and helm a film production for the first time.
Blumhouse may have an exclusive theatrical distribution deal with Universal, but the company is more than familiar with the streaming space, and This Beast marks the outfit’s seventh Netflix original film, not to mention the quartet of Welcome to the Blumhouse movies that debuted on Prime Video last year.
This Beast currently has no scheduled release date. We’ll keep you updated as new details about this project emerge.