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Billy The Kid - What We Know So Far

It looks like we are getting another retelling of the story of Billy the Kid, the notorious outlaw of the Wild West who wreaked havoc in the late 1800s. According to History, Billy the Kid is believed to have been born Henry McCarty in 1859. Losing his mother at an early age, Billy the Kid was left to survive on his own, and he quickly went down the wrong path. His first murder took place in 1877 after an argument, and around that same time he adopted the name "William H. Bonney," which led to his later aliases of "Billy the Kid" and "The Kid." Quickly developing a reputation as a gunslinging criminal, Billy the Kid led a short life, dying at age 21, but his legend only grew from then on. 

Most people have heard of Billy the Kid from entertainment, as the man has been the subject of over 50 movies (The Great Western Movies). Well, it doesn't look like this trend will be stopping anytime soon, as a new project focusing on the famous figure is currently in development. The premium channel Epix, home to other shows like "Pennyworth," "Godfather of Harlem," and "Get Shorty," is now working on a series called "Billy the Kid," written by Michael Hirst, the creator of past hits like "Vikings" and "The Tudors."

Here's everything we know so far about the upcoming "Billy the Kid" TV series. 

What is the release date of the Billy the Kid TV series?

So far, only two casting announcements have been made about the upcoming series "Billy the Kid," and there's no word yet on when it might go into production. Because of this, it's a bit hard to say when we might be able to expect the first season of the show to premiere on Epix, but we can speculate. Looking at the timeline of another Epix original series, "Pennyworth," the Batman prequel revealed that Jack Bannon would play the title character in October 2018, which is about where "Billy the Kid" is in terms of development (Deadline). 

"Pennyworth" then released its first season on July 28, 2019, so if the upcoming Western TV series sticks to a similar schedule, it looks like Season 1 of "Billy the Kid" might be arriving on Epix around May 2022. Of course, there are a lot of factors that go into making a television series, and with little details about "Billy the Kid" released aside from its basic premise and a few cast members, we can't exactly predict if the show might need more or less time for casting, filming, post-production, or any other aspect of the filmmaking process.

Who is in the cast of Billy the Kid?

As of right now, there have only been two characters cast for "Billy the Kid," but they are definitely the most important to the story. The first is the title character, Billy the Kid, who will be played by newcomer Tom Blyth, whose most prominent past role is playing Sid in the indie film "Scott and Sid," while he will also appear in the upcoming historical drama "The Gilded Age." His character in "Billy the Kid" is officially described as a young man with "a civility and restraint in his nature ... whose gun hand seems to move faster than the eye can see, but he gets no joy from killing, feeling he's more sinned against than sinning" (via Deadline).

Starring opposite Blyth will be Daniel Webber, who has been in the business a bit longer than Blyth. In fact, Webber's already played one notorious figure from history, Lee Harvey Oswald, in the miniseries "11.22.63," based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. Along with that, the actor has appeared in "Escape from Pretoria" and "The Punisher," among other projects. In "Billy the Kid," Webber will be playing Jesse Evans, a fellow criminal who really enjoys his lifestyle of choice, acting as leader of the Seven Rivers Gang. As officially described via Deadline, "Billy is attracted to [Jesse's] wild and reckless character and [he] becomes Billy's doppelgänger of sorts — his shadow self, forever inviting him over to the dark side of life." Other casting announcements are sure to follow soon. 

What will the Billy the Kid TV show be about?

As Deadline described in the aforementioned press release announcing Blyth's casting, "Billy the Kid" will be "an epic romantic adventure based on the life of Billy the Kid, also known as William H. Bonney — from his humble Irish roots and his early days as a cowboy and gunslinger in the American frontier, to his pivotal role in the Lincoln County War and beyond." The show will follow in the footsteps of all the past movies and television shows featuring Billy the Kid, the latest of which is the Vincent D'Onofrio-directed film "The Kid," in which Dane DeHaan plays the title character. Past actors who have also portrayed Billy the Kid include Val Kilmer, Paul Newman, and Emilio Estevez. 

According to Biography, legend says that Billy the Kid killed around 21 people throughout his crime spree, but in reality the number is likely a lot less. Billy the Kid fought in the Lincoln County War and killed Sheriff Brady amidst the fighting, which led to his arrest and death sentence in 1880. Clever and adaptable, the young man was able to escape prison, but his life as a fugitive ended in 1881 when he was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett. While Garrett was Billy the Kid's killer, he is also the reason the outlaw's legend has grown to be what it is today, almost a century and a half later. Shortly after Billy the Kid's death, Garrett wrote a biography about him called "The Authentic Life of Billy, the Kid" (via Goodreads). Depending on how far along the upcoming Epix series gets into the historical figure's life, Sheriff Garrett will likely make an appearance.