Mayans’ leader Marcus Alvarez was both an enemy and an ally of the Sons of Anarchy, but originally, Emilio Rivera was cast as a member of the Sons – here’s what happened. Created by Kurt Sutter, Sons of Anarchy premiered on FX in 2008 and came to an end in 2014 after seven seasons. The series was very well-received and praised through its whole run thanks to its story, tone, and the performances of the main cast, and though the lead character’s arc ended with the series, it made way for a spin-off titled Mayans M.C., focused on the rival club of the same name.
Sons of Anarchy follows the story of Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), VP of the motorcycle club Sons of Anarchy in the fictional town of Charming, in California. The events of the series are kickstarted when Jax finds a manifesto written by his late father, John Teller, one of the founding members of the club, which leads Jax to question the club’s motivations and path, his relationships, family, and himself. The club earned a couple of enemies along the way, and the most recurrent antagonists were the Mayans club, led by Marcus Alvarez (Emilio Rivera), though they eventually learned to work together to ensure that Charming wouldn’t become a war zone between gangs. However, what viewers might not know is that Rivera was originally cast as a member of the Sons of Anarchy.
The pilot episode of Sons of Anarchy went through a couple of changes before becoming the episode fans of the series now know, and among those changes was the recasting of some members of the club. For instance, Ron Perlman wasn’t the original Clay, and he was brought in to play the club’s president after the original pilot was filmed, and though his scenes were re-shot, there’s one at the end where the original actor can be seen among the group. In that same scene, another member of the Sons can be spotted that doesn’t appear in subsequent episodes: Hawk, played by Emilio Rivera.
Given that Hawk was a minor character and was never officially a part of Sons of Anarchy, as he appeared only in the original pilot (and his appearance in the final one is just an editing mistake), details about him are unknown, but according to Rivera (via Collider), the character was changed and became Tig, played by Kim Coates, while he was recast as the leader of the Mayans. Tig went on to become one of the most important and popular characters of Sons of Anarchy, as he went through a whole journey and much-needed development but wasn’t safe from personal tragedies either. As for Marcus, he and his club went through a lot of problems with the Sons, both personal and in terms of business and control of their respective areas, but they ultimately joined forces and even became partners by the end of the series.
Recasting Emilio Rivera and giving him the role of Marcus Alvarez was a wise decision from the team behind Sons of Anarchy, as not only did changing Hawk resulted in one of the best characters of the series but it also allowed Rivera to stay in the Sons of Anarchy universe for a bit longer and in a more personal way thanks to Mayans M.C., which has been very well-received so far by critics and viewers and has a bright future ahead.