Premium network EPIX® has announced the greenlight of Billy the Kid, written by Michael Hirst (Elizabeth, The Tudors, Vikings) and executive produced by Michael Hirst, Donald De Line (De Line Pictures), Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (Amblin Television), and Otto Bathurst and Toby Leslie (One Big Picture). The eight-episode, one-hour season will commence production this June in Calgary, AB, with an eye towards a 2022 premiere on EPIX. Billy the Kid is a co-production between EPIX Studios and MGM International Television Productions, in association with Nordic Entertainment Groups streaming service Viaplay. Bathurst is set to direct the first two episodes.
The series 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.
“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, EPIX. “We can’t wait to see how this talented creative team unfolds this story and brings it to life for our viewers.”
“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. “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.”
Said Hirst, “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!”
Billy the Kid is executive produced by Michael Hirst; Donald De Line for De Line Pictures; Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey for Amblin Television; Otto Bathurst, and Toby Leslie for One Big Picture.
Billy the Kid marks the fourth greenlit project for the recently launched MGM International Television Productions label and the second co-production with EPIX following the contemporary sci-fi horror series From. The division also recently announceda pilot order from Amazon Studios for Shelter, a YA mystery/crime drama from author Harlan Coben, as well as The Reunion, an adaptation of French author Guillaume Musso’s novel La Jeune Fille et la Nuit, with Make It Happen Studios and France Televisions.
Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content across all platforms. The company owns one of the world’s deepest libraries of premium film and television content as well as the premium pay television network EPIX, which is available throughout the U.S. via cable, satellite, telco, and digital distributors. In addition, MGM has investments in numerous other television channels, digital platforms, interactive ventures, and is producing premium short-form content for distribution. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.
EPIX ®, an MGM company, is a premium television network delivering a broad line-up of quality original series and documentaries, the latest movie releases and classic film franchises – all available on TV, on-demand, online and across devices. EPIX ® has tripled the amount of original programming on the network and has become a destination for original premium content with series including Godfather of Harlem, starring and executive produced by Forest Whitaker; Pennyworth, the origin story of Batman’s butler Alfred; as well as upcoming premieres of drama Chapelwaite, based on the short story Jerusalem’s Lot by Stephen King and starring Academy Award winner Adrien Brody; season two of War of the Worlds, from Howard Overman and starring Gabriel Byrne and Daisy Edgar-Jones; docuseries Fall River, from Blumhouse Television; Sci-Fi horror series From produced by Midnight Radio and AGBO; season two of acclaimed spy thriller Condor, season three of epic fantasy drama series Britannia; and docuseries Fiasco, based on the podcast of the same name. Other originals include Emmy®-nominated music docuseries Laurel Canyon; docuseries NFL: The Grind, from NFL Films and hosted by Rich Eisen; Belgravia, from Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame and the creative team from Downton Abbey; dramedy Bridge and Tunnel written and directed by Ed Burns; docuseries Helter Skelter: An American Myth, executive produced and directed by Lesley Chilcott; By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of Godfather of Harlem; and Enslaved featuring Hollywood icon and human rights activist Samuel L. Jackson. Launched in October 2009, EPIX® is available nationwide through cable, telco, satellite and emerging digital distribution platforms as well as through its EPIX NOW app, providing more movies than any other network with thousands of titles available for streaming.
For more information about EPIX, go to www.EPIX.com. Follow EPIX on Twitter @EpixHd (http://www.twitter.com/EpixHD) and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/EPIX), YouTube (http://youtube.com/EPIX), Instagram (http://instagram.com/EPIX) and Snapchat @EPIXTV.