It's interesting that I was just talking about the lack of original programming from EPIX yesterday, then this news hits. They already have a story about a famous gangster, why not a notorious gunslinger as well? EPIX announced that a drama series based on Billy The Kid is in the works, with the hope of a 2022 premiere.
The series comes from EPIX Studios, MGM International Television Productions, De Line Pictures and Amblin Television. Michael Hirst will write the series and serve as executive producer. Joining him are Donald De Line of De Line Pictures, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey of Amblin Television and Otto Bathurst and Toby Leslie of One Big Picture. The first season will consist of eight hour-long episodes, and will begin filming in Calgary in June. The series is set to tell the story of William H. Bonney and his Irish roots, his early days as a gunslinger on the frontier and even his role in the Lincoln County War.
"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," Hirst said. "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!"
The series certainly has promise, but it will be interesting to see just how far back they go and how deep they dive into his story. Keep in mind, William Bonney died at the age of 21. There is still plenty of story to tell there, but it seems unlikely that this series would run more than a few seasons. This does feel like a good time to revisit his story, so I am definitely looking forward to it. Keep checking back for casting news, first looks and more.
Photo Credit: Ben Wittick