Film Trailers

Ethan Hawke & Chris Pratt Made a Billy the Kid Movie That Comes Out in 2 Weeks

Beware any movie that drops its first trailer a mere two weeks before the full film is due to hit theaters. Such a display of no confidence on the part of a marketing department portends bad things, man. Bad things!

I know all of that, but I can’t help it – The Kid truly has me intrigued. It’s a western that stars Ethan Hawke, Dane DeHaan, and just a little celebrity named Chris Pratt playing against type as a villain. It was directed by Vincent “Kingpin” D’Onofrio, his first directorial effort since 2010’s Don’t Go In the Woods. It’s about one of history’s most iconic western gunslingers, Billy the Kid. It has a recognizable studio – Lionsgate – behind it, and functions as a mini-Magnificent Seven reunion, which is a movie that nearly grossed $100m domestically. On top of all that, the dang thing is due the same weekend as Captain Marvel!

Yet, I don’t recall seeing The Kid mentioned in a single one of the various “2019 Preview” cover stories I read in film magazines like Empire, Total Film, and EW. The screenwriter Andrew Lanham has been working on this since at least 2014, but until this tweet from Pratt yesterday I didn’t know this movie existed:

Now, I just want to know: what is this actually about?

Anyone familiar with the Billy the Kid story or just anyone who has seen Sam Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid and/or Young Guns II – a childhood favorite of minewill recognize the broad strokes of the plot as well as some of the setpieces. Hawke is Garrett, the newly appointed Sheriff charged with capturing his old friend Billy the Kid (DeHaan). Famous historical events like Garrett’s arrest of Billy after a shootout at a small farmhouse and Billy’s subsequent jail outbreak appear to be dutifully recreated.

Then there are parts which appear to be slightly more in the historical fiction territory, like Garrett protecting Billy from a lynch mob (which did kind of happen but not at all in the way seen in the trailer). Young Guns II is also guilty of just making shit up. So, this isn’t new, and Hawke’s Garrett underscores just how much this is NOT a documentary by declaring, ““It doesn’t matter what’s true. It matters the story they tell when you’re gone.”

Interestingly, however, the title of the film might not even refer to Billy, at least not solely. According to MovieWeb, “The Kid centers on a young boy, Rio (newcomer Jake Schur), who is forced to go on the run in an attempt to save his sister (Leila George) from their evil uncle (Chris Pratt). Along the way, he crosses paths with Sheriff Pat Garrett, who is searching for the infamous outlaw Billy the Kid. Rio finds himself increasingly caught up in the lives of these two legendary figures as the final year of Billy the Kid’s life unfolds. Ultimately Rio is forced to choose which type of man he is going to be; an outlaw or a man of valor.”

So, it’s kind of like if Young Guns II was less about Emilio Estevez’s version of Billy and more about that one baby-faced kid who joins his gang after nervously calling him the “Prince of Pis…Pis..Pistoleers”? But this kid is being hunted by a version of Chris Pratt who sounds like Rooster Cogburn and looks like a fiddle player in Mumford & Sons? Cool. This might be terrible or merely passable, but I’m totally down for whatever The Kid has to offer.

What about you? Let me know in the comments. The Kid is due out March 8th.

Source: MovieWeb

15 comments

  1. I know all of that, but I can’t help it – The Kid truly has me intrigued. It’s a western that stars Ethan Hawke, Dane DeHaan, and just a little celebrity named Chris Pratt playing against type as a villain. It was directed by Vincent “Kingpin” D’Onofrio, his first directorial effort since 2010’s Don’t Go In the Woods. It’s about one of history’s most iconic western gunslingers, Billy the Kid. It has a recognizable studio – Lionsgate – behind it, and functions as a mini-Magnificent Seven reunion, which is a movie that nearly grossed $100m domestically. On top of all that, the dang thing is due the same weekend as Captain Marvel!

    Every single reason why I’m more excited to see this than I am Captain Marvel. I mean, she’s alright, but I’m intrigued by everything about this. I’m gonna see if I can check this out.

    1. My worry with The Kid is not so much it being bad or good but instead how many theaters it will actually end up in. Trailer drops 2 weeks before release date. They have it slaed to open opposite Captain Marvel. Screams limited release/VOD situation to me, which just seems crazy for a new Ethan Hawke, Dane DeHaan, Chris Pratt movie. The actual film might be bad or just ok, but I’m not even sure when I’ll get the chance to find out.

  2. Its gonna suck. The only draw for. E is seeing Pratt play bad. Thats why i watched Machete and that Hugh Jackman movie about the robot in south africa. Even the avengers (no not the marvel one) was watchable for sean connery’s turn as mr nasty. I cant believe they didnt give him more bad guy roles after that.

    1. I’m with you on Connery, but he was retired within 6 years of The Avengers coming out. So, he never really had much of a chance to play a villain again.

      I’m partial to this movie because I have a weird, lifelong fascination with the Billy the Kid story. That’s why I wrote that Young Guns article last year. However, I can’t lie – I’m not exactly optimistic here. It’s beyond troubling for the trailer to drop this close to the release date, and at last check BoxOfficeMojo still had no estimate for the numbers of theaters this is going to play in opening weekend. I’m guessing we’re looking more at limited release/VOD situation, but I don’t know for sure.

  3. I really liked the Magnificent Seven when it came out, so I’ll give this one a shot. Plus, I’m not very familiar with the story of Billy the Kid, like at all, so this is going to be pure entertainment for me.

    1. The Billy the Kid story – I can at least fill you in on this: the first Young Guns movie is an astonishingly accurate depiction of the thing that made Billy famous, the Lincoln County War.

      If you don’t have time to watch that, I can summarize the history of the matter: the War was basically a skirmish between some powerful people over government contracts. Billy was a ward of a land developer who was assassinated by the competition. Afterward, Billy and his friends, all of whom witnessed the assassination, were deputized and charged with bringing the murderers to justice, but that quickly devolved into them simply executing posse justice and thus having their legal standing revoked. It all culminated with Billy and his gang, called The Regulators, trapped in a house and surrounded by their enemies as well as the damn National Guard. Astonishingly, Billy made it out of there alive.

      If he’d been smart, he would have headed south to Mexico. Instead, he hung around in Nex Mexico, formed a new gang with the surviving members of The Regulators, and tried to broker a deal with the state’s governor: in exhange for immunity, he’d agreed to testify against some of the bastards from the Lincoln County War. The governor reneged on the deal, though. Everyone involved in the War was granted immunity…except for Billy (and maybe some of his friends, can’t remember for sure).

      From what I can tell, all of that will have already happened by the time the events in The Kid start. Here, Billy is in the last year of his life, a period which was previously depicted, but often highly exaggerated in movies like Young Guns 2 and Patt Garrett and Billy the Kid. Now a famous Old West outlaw, some people still love and adore Billy (his initial cause was just, after all), others despite the way death and violence follow him wherever he goes. An old acquaintance of his named Patt Garrett has been sworn in as Sheriff and charged with bringing him in. It doesn’t always go according to plan.

  4. Thanks for the rundown! It definitely sounds like and interesting story, I may read into the history a bit before seeing the movie. I’ll also check around and see if I can find Young Guns on Netflix or some other platform to watch before I go see this one in theaters, you have intrigued me.

    1. According to ReelGood.com, Young Guns is available for free on Sony’s Crackle service right now. If you do choose to check it out or wherever you find it, please forgive its occasional bursts of, for lack of a better description, pure 80s. It’s mostly a well-done, traditional Western, but they had a James Horner score that they threw out at the last minute – still don’t know why – and replaced with this weird, almost Mega Man-like score. Other than that, I love the movie. Just something worth knowing about in advance. https://reelgood.com/movie/young-guns-1988

  5. Have you seen this yet? Read one review from a critic I follow and says it’s more than OK. Haven’t seen all of those Billy the Kid movies you mentioned but you got me interested because, Ethan Hawke. And Pratt was reportedly good. De Haan as well—which reminds me of that old Leo di Caprio movie that gets talked about a lot back then because Sharon Stone’s b**bs. =) IIRC he’s called “the kid” as well in that movie.

    1. Have not seen it yet, but luckily it is playing ino one theater in my town starting Friday. Plan on seeing it then. Going in with high hopes.

      Ps…The Quick and the Dead. That’s the Sharon Stone movie. Also has Russell Crowe. Sam Raimi directed, if I remember correctly.

      1. I love the quick and the dead. Simple film with gene hackmam stepping off the unforgiven set in costume to earn some extra cash here. All star cast. Love lance hendrickson. Not sure what the sexualised reference was in it. Sharon Stone was very much like a man in that movie.

      2. The Quick and the Dead—I remember because people compares De Haan and the younger Di Caprio. Quite memorable movie, b**bs or no b**bs. Memorable for the performances alone, Hackman, Stone, Di Caprio. I think it was Crowe’s first in Hollywood. And the movie also looks good. Also, that scene where we can see the bullet hole on Hackman’s shadow’s chest?

        I think the b**b scene I’m talking about was only in the theatrical version. It was cut in (some version of) the home video because Raimi was unhappy about it. Probably the producers insisted on it because Stone was still a sex symbol back in the 90s. I believe it’s on Wiki and I’m just to lazy to check right now.

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