Fresh off his first Oscar nomination, Barry Keoghan has just announced his next film role — and it’s one close to his heart.
The Irish actor, also known for Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Marvel’s Eternals, will star in a retelling of the story of infamous outlaw Billy the Kid.
“We’ve seen many versions of Billy the Kid on screen before,” Keoghan told Deadline.
“My interest was in trying to tell a version that breaks from the façade of that cool, calm, and collected gunslinger Billy the Kid that we’re all used to seeing. I wanted to humanise him in a way.”
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The project is being developed by Element Pictures and RAW with Film4 with American Animals‘ Bart Layton attached to direct.
Still untitled, the film is said to lean into Billy the Kid’s Irish ancestry and difficult childhood. Born Henry McCarty, the New Yorker was orphaned at 15 when his mother died and his stepfather abandoned him. In the six years prior to his death at the hands of Sheriff Pat Garrett, McCarty would be arrested for robbery and wanted for multiple murders.
Keoghan, who lost his own mother at 12 and grew up in foster care, said he understood the pressures McCarty must have faced and that may ultimately have contributed steering him towards a life of crime.
“There are so many eyewitness accounts, and lots of different versions of his story that didn’t add up but that contributed to the legend,” the actor said.
Related: How to watch The Banshees of Inisherin online at home
Keoghan seems genuinely excited about this film, which he promoted on his Twitter page writing: “This project means sooo much to me”.
“To have the people bring this to life I am very grateful,” he added.
The upcoming movie follows Keoghan’s Oscar-nominated appearance in Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin, a black comedy in which Keoghan shines opposite protagonists Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in the roles of two friends suddenly feuding.
Keoghan will next be seen in Emerald Fennell’s (Promising Young Woman) sophomore feature Saltburn, also starring Carey Mulligan, Rosamund Pike and Euphoria‘s Jacob Elordi. Currently in production, the period drama doesn’t have a release date as of yet.
The Banshees of Inisherin is in cinemas now.
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