The latest work of the creator of the cult series "Vikings" will soon be available on the Viaplay platform. "Billy the Kid" is an eight-episode series about the life of an American gunslinger who has been hailed as one of the Wild West's most famous criminals. British actor Tom Blyth played the main role. The production is the result of a multi-year agreement to create six English-language original international series, concluded between NENT Group, the owner of the Viaplay streaming platform, and MGM International Television Productions. Otto Bathurst ("Peaky Blinders") will direct the first two episodes of this season. The premiere is on June 12 on the Viaplay platform.
British actor Tom Blyth has previously starred in productions such as "Robin Hood", "Benediction" and "The Gilded Age". Now he will play the role of Billy the Kid, also known as William H. Bonney, who was one of the Wild West's most misunderstood characters.
Tom Blyth: Billy is a dream role for me. As a child, I loved reading about him and his Wild West peers. They rebelled in me and taught me to be fearless. Of course, they were not always right, but they were always in favor of something. Billy believed you had to fight tyranny and corruption, even if that meant putting yourself up, breaking the status quo, ostracizing yourself, or committing a crime. Billy's story lives on in us to this day.
The eight-episode romantic drama by Michael Hirst ("Vikings", "The Tudor Dynasty") tells the story of a man who grew up in a world of lawlessness and violence. Nevertheless, he tried to treat all people as equals, but in New Mexico there were constant conflicts between many religious and racial groups claiming to be there. In addition to Tom Blyth, in the series we will be able to see, among others Daniel Webber ("The Punisher") and Eileen O'Higgins ("Brooklyn").
The plot takes place at the end of the 19th century. The series shows that despite the popular opinion - Billy was not a cold-blooded murderer who robbed trains or banks, but a charismatic gunslinger who accidentally found himself in the middle of a feud between two gangs. At the age of 15, he was already a public figure whose fate was followed by all local newspapers. He was the hero of articles more than most American politicians and government officials. Though his life ended prematurely, his legend continued to circulate around the world for many years after his alleged death - if he actually died at the age of 21. Rumors say that he used rumors of his alleged death as an escape route from the world of violence and hatred, changed his identity and moved with his beloved to Mexico.
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From slum in New York to the Badlands in New Mexico to the Wild West - the series is about the life, experiences and character of Billy "an ego who, despite his difficulties, learned to read, count, was polite and treated women with respect, while remaining tough, courageous and The first series of the 21st century that humanizes the infamous outlaw, viewers will not only see his situation from a different perspective, but also understand the motives, ambitions and dreams.
Filippa Wallestam, NENT Group Chief Content Officer: Unique storylines are a key part of our expansion strategy. We are proud to partner with MGM and to work together to co-produce series with Hollywood's biggest names. Series such as "Billy the Kid" and "Last Light" show the scale of our ambitions and help mark our presence in new markets even faster.
Billy the Kid is executive produced by Michael Hirst, Donald De Line (De Line Pictures), Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank (Amblin Television), as well as Otto Bathurst and Toby Leslie (One Big Picture). The series is a co-production of EPIX Studios and MGM International Television Productions, in cooperation with Nordic Entertainment Group. MGM is an international distributor. The executive producer on behalf of the NENT Group is Isabelle Hultén.
In 2022, Viaplay will present at least 60 new original productions. In addition, NENT Group will produce two large English-language films each year, focusing on characters from Scandinavian countries - starting from the work of Lasse Hallström (nominated for an Oscar for directing "Against the Rules"), or the film "Hilma" - a biography of the Swedish artist and pioneer Hilmy af Klint feminism.