Get ready to explore the life of Old West outlaw Billy the Kid in a new drama headed to EPIX. Michael Hirst (Elizabeth, The Tudors, Vikings) will both write and executive produce the series, which will arrive on the cable channel in 2022. Production on the eight-episode series is set to start in June and a cast has not yet been set.
“Premium network EPIX® has announced the greenlight of Billy the Kid, written by Michael Hirst (Elizabeth, The Tudors, Vikings) and executive produced by Michael Hirst, Donald De Line (De Line Pictures), Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (Amblin Television), and Otto Bathurst and Toby Leslie (One Big Picture). The eight-episode, one-hour season will commence production this June in Calgary, AB, with an eye towards a 2022 premiere on EPIX. Billy the Kid is a co-production between EPIX Studios and MGM International Television Productions, in association with Nordic Entertainment Groups streaming service Viaplay. Bathurst is set to direct the first two episodes.
The series is an epic romantic adventure based on the life of famous American outlaw Billy the Kid, also known as William H. Bonney — from his humble Irish roots, to his early days as a cowboy and gunslinger in the American frontier, to his pivotal role in the Lincoln County War and beyond.
“Michael Hirst has created a series that will take the audience on an entirely unexpected, thrilling ride, turning what they thought they knew about this iconic character on its head,” said Michael Wright, President, EPIX. “We can’t wait to see how this talented creative team unfolds this story and brings it to life for our viewers.”
“Billy the Kid reunites Michael Hirst and MGM, whose epic sagas with global appeal remain unmatched,” said Rola Bauer, MGM’s President of International Television Productions. “It is an immigrant story at its heart and an international perspective to this legendary American character. Exciting to collaborate once again with our partners at EPIX and NENT/viaplay.”
Said Hirst, “Billy the Kid has always been a hero of mine since I was – well, a kid! I grew up in the North of England but it made no difference! Billy was a special kind of outlaw. For a start he was so young – and for another thing, he wasn’t a psychopath who enjoyed killing, nor a criminal who robbed for material gain. He was an outlaw most of his life, but he never wanted to be. Born into a poor Irish family of immigrants, he always wanted to go straight, to be a “new American”. But he was never allowed to.
Billy’s story is much more than a fantastic drama about a charismatic cowboy – although it is that! It’s also the story of the immigrant, and the story of the creation of the new America from the lawless, violent chaos of the mid-West and its many nations. So in the end it’s not just a story at all – it’s an American myth!”
What do you think? Do you plan to watch Billy the Kid when it arrives on EPIX next year?