Epix has ordered a series on the famous American outlaw Billy the Kid from “Vikings” and “Tudors” creator Michael Hirst.
Otto Bathurst will direct the first two episodes of the first season, which will be eight episodes in total. Donald De Line of De Line Pictures, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey of Amblin Television, and Bathurst and Toby Leslie will all executive produce with Hirst.
Billy the Kid, whose real name was William H. Bonney, was one of the most notable cowboys and gunslingers in the American frontier and played a key role in the Lincoln County War of 1878.
“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 of EPIX. “We can’t wait to see how this talented creative team unfolds this story and brings it to life for our viewers.”
The series is a co-production between Epix and MGM International. It is Hirst’s latest collaboration with the studio following “Vikings,” which recently finished its run.
Hirst added: “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!”