Tom Blyth will take on the lead role of the famous American western outlaw in Epix’s new series Billy the Kid. The show is being developed by Vikings and The Tudors creator Michael Hirst.

Tom Blyth

The series is described as an “epic romantic adventure based on the life of 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.”

Blyth’s version of Billy The Kid is described as “a young man with a modest demeanor and a civility and restraint in his nature, despite being the legendary outlaw, Billy the Kid. He’s an impressive sure-shot 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.”

Hirst says that “Billy the Kid is one of the most famous, fascinating, unknown, complex, contradictory and beautiful outlaws in the whole history of the American west.” When previously talking about what he’s planning for the eight-episode series, he said:

“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!”

Otto Bathurst is set to direct the first two episodes of the eight-episode first season, executive produced by Hirst, Donald De Line of De Line Pictures, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey of Amblin Television.

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