America’s most notorious (and beloved) outlaw and gunfighter is getting the silver screen treatment. Premium cabler and MGM subsidiary Epix has greenlit a “Billy the Kid” drama, written and executive produced by “Elizabeth,” “The Tudors” and “Vikings” scribe Michael Hirst. The hourlong eight-parter starts production this June in Calgary, with a series premiere slated for 2022 on Epix.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
“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,” added Michael Wright, president, Epix.
Per the logline, the show 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.
“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!,” Hirst said.
Billy the Kid is a co-production between EPIX Studios and MGM International Television Productions, in association with Nordic Entertainment Groups streaming service Viaplay. Executive producing alongside Hirst are Donald De Line for De Line Pictures, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey for Amblin Television and Otto Bathurst, and Toby Leslie for One Big Picture. Bathurst is set to direct the first two episodes.