Barry Keoghan has been set to play Billy the Kid in an upcoming biopic set to retell the notorious criminal’s story.
The new telling of his story will lean into Billy’s Irish ancestry and complicated childhood.
Born in New York as Henry McCarty, he was orphaned at the age of 15 when his mother died and his stepfather abandoned him. His first arrest for robbery came a year later, and by the time he was 18, he was wanted for murder after an altercation in Arizona. His notoriety escalated, and he was 21 when Sheriff Pat Garrett shot him to death.
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‘American Animals’ director Bart Layton is aboard to direct the feature. Ed Guiney, of Element Pictures, will produce. Keoghan approached Layton with the story while working together on ‘American Animals.’
“We’ve seen many versions of Billy the Kid on screen before,” Keoghan tells Deadline. “My interest was in trying to tell a version that breaks from the facade of that cool, calm, and collected gunslinger Billy the Kid that we’re all used to seeing. I wanted to humanize him in a way.”