Barry Keoghan Lands Dream Role in “Billy the Kid” Biopic

Barry Keoghan at the AFI Awards in January 2023
Barry Keoghan at the AFI Awards in January 2023. Photo by Rob Latour/Shutterstock (13713298kp)

The iconic outlaw Billy the Kid is soon getting a biopic directed by Bart Layton and he couldn’t have picked a better actor to play the notorious gunslinger. Irish actor Barry Keoghan, who’s fresh off his Oscar nomination for The Banshees of Inisherin, landed his dream role in this promising project.

Keoghan will be joining forces with Bart Layton, after collaborating on American Animals in 2018. He said they want to tell a version of the tale that the world will want to see, and described this biopic as the Irish actor’s passion project.

Keoghan is a perfect man for the job because this project will heavily lean into the Kid’s Irish ancestry and complicated childhood. The 30-year-old actor relates to the pressures that the famous outlaw faced because he grew up in the foster system after losing his mother at a young age.

“We’ve seen many versions of Billy the Kid on screen before. 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,” Keoghan told Deadline.

Keoghan’s casting in this film comes after several successful projects in 2022, including a cameo as the Joker in The Batman and the Oscar-nominated role in Martin McDonagh’s tragicomedy The Banshees of Inisherin.