‘Vikings’ Creator Michael Hirst Lands ‘Billy The Kid’ Series At EPIX
Master of the historical drama, Michael Hirst, who dealt with English history with ‘The Tudors’, and Nordic history with ‘Vikings’, has now set his sights on America, as US network EPIX orders a series based around ‘Billy The Kid‘.
The drama 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,” commented 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.”
Hirst will write and exec produce the series, with Donald De Line (De Line Pictures), Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (Amblin Television), and Otto Bathurst and Toby Leslie (One Big Picture) also exec producing.
“Billy the Kid reunites Michael Hirst and MGM, whose epic sagas with global appeal remain unmatched,” adds 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.”
Hirst is no stranger to historical stories. The British screenwriter wrote both the movies ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’, along with the tv series ‘The Tudors’, and the much beloved ‘Vikings’. His is also creating the upcoming Netflix series ‘Vikings: Valhalla’, a continuation of the epic ‘Vikings’ saga that moves the timeline forward around 100 years. Interestingly, much like the myths and legends which surrounded those ancient vikings, there are similarities with the outlandish stories surrounding Billy The Kid.
“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, adds Hirst. “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‘ will be produced by EPIX Studios, MGM International Television Productions, De Line Pictures and Amblin Television to Premiere on EPIX in the USA in 2022. We’ve no idea yet where it may land in the UK, but If you want to keep track of this series you can add it via our Never Miss system, and you’ll be notified when it gets a UK premiere date.
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.