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Guns 3: Alias Billy The Kid - What We Know So Far

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Billy the Kid is one of the world's most famous Wild West outlaws. His short life was punctuated by crime and bloodshed but is often romanticized into stories about exciting gunfights and daring escapes. In the late 1980s and early '90s, one of the most popular examples of this tendency was the "Young Guns" film series starring Emilio Estevez as Billy. The original 1988 film tracks the young outlaw's life from the time he joins The Regulator posse through his participation in the Lincoln County War during the late 1800s. The sequel, "Young Guns 2," came out two years later. The sequel follows Billy the Kid's adventures after the Lincoln Country War, as told from the perspective of Brushy Bill Roberts (portrayed by an uncredited Estevez), one of the many actual men who claimed to be Billy in the early 20th century, despite the outlaw's official death in 1881.

The "Young Guns" franchise seems poised to add another installment with "Guns 3: Alias Billy the Kid." There is much that is still unknown about the film's release date, cast, and plot. Even so, here's what we know about "Guns 3."

What is the release date for Guns 3: Alias Billy the Kid?

So far, there have been no official announcements regarding the release date of "Guns 3: Alias Billy the Kid." Franchise star Emilio Estevez revealed in a March 2021 Collider interview that a threequel is "definitely in the works." Aside from that, however, production for the movie has been kept a closely guarded secret.

What we know is that "Guns 3" is in the early stages of production. A January 2021 tweet from "Young Guns" writer John Fusco teased a reunion with Estevez. As of September 2021, the IMDb page for "Gun 3" seems to confirm the pair are co-writing the series' third entry. But, because developments on "Guns 3" are being kept under wraps, it is difficult to estimate when this late-blooming third entry will hit theaters. It's all the more difficult to estimate a release date with no filming dates announced nor any news of a studio joining the project as a partner or distributor.

If "Guns 3" gains momentum before the end of 2021 and has a speedy production next year, we could see "Guns 3" debuting before 2022 comes to a close. It's also equally plausible that the film will take longer to shoot and be ready for release. After 30 years of waiting, however, one or two more doesn't seem too long at all.

Who is in the cast for Guns 3: Alias Billy the Kid?

One fascinating aspect of "Guns 3: Alias Billy the Kid" is the cast. It seems like a few cowboys from the first two movies are ready to get back in the saddle. Of The Regulators posse members who weren't gunned down in previous installments, it looks like Billy the Kid (Emilio Estevez), Dave Rudabaugh (Christian Slater), and Jose Chavez y Chavez (Lou Diamond Phillips) will return in "Guns 3" (via IMDb). It appears Phillips confirmed his involvement in "Guns 3," too, revealing to Forbes in April 2021 he's already had conversations about returning.

Since these three actors are the only confirmed cast members, we're curious about how they'll reprise their memorable "Young Guns" characters. It has been more than 30 years since the release of "Young Guns 2," which means the stars of the 1990 movie are, quite obviously, not the young men they once were. While it is more than possible for the original Regulators to get back in the saddle, "Guns 3" would need to create a story to justify focusing on the older, returning Regulators. This could mean the story is set during the tail end — if not long after — the heyday of the Wild West, which puttered out shortly after the turn of the century.

What is the plot of Guns 3: Alias Billy the Kid?

At this point, any questions we might have about the specific plot of "Guns 3: Alias Billy the Kid" are unanswered. However, Estevez did tease out the broad strokes of a potential "Guns 3" plot while speaking with Collider in March. The actor shared, "The Kid is a fun character to play. There's a lot of speculation about what happened that night, in 1881 in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Did he die? Did he not? And so, there's a lot of mythical, historical and, actually, some factual things that we can examine, if we're serious about going back to that franchise, as well."

Another potential lead on the plot is the film's working subtitle, "Alias Billy the Kid." This subtitle is lifted directly from one of many biographies on Brushy Bill Roberts (via Amazon), who claimed to be Billy the Kid long after most people thought he was dead. "Young Guns 2" already focused extensively on Roberts' story, which ends with Billy escaping his supposed death at the hands of Pat Garret (William Petersen).

The subtitle of "Guns 3" implies the franchise will take another look at the bold claims Roberts made about his past outlaw life in "Young Guns 2." Alternatively, the new movie could focus on the events of Roberts' life after his apparent death in the 1880s. What exactly these events might entail is unknown. Nevertheless, "Guns 3" promises some classic Wild West action along with its unanswered questions. Perhaps the combination of the two is enough to draw renewed interest in this newly revived franchise.