Dane DeHaan, left, and Ethan Hawke in a scene from “The Kid.” (Courtesy of Lionsgate)
Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
New Mexico has plenty of history — especially its place in the Wild West.
The area was home to Billy the Kid and his famous shoot outs, mainly one with Sheriff Pat Garrett.
A new story his hitting theaters beginning Friday, March 8, and it was filmed in New Mexico.
Vincent D’Onofrio’s feature film directorial debut “The Kid” opens in theaters in Albuquerque and Santa Fe during a limited run.
Leila George and Jake Schur in a scene from “The Kid.” (Courtesy of Lionsgate)
The film is set between 1880-81, when lawlessness was running rampant, in part to outlaws like Billy the Kid.
The story follows 13-year-old Rio, played by Jake Schur, who finds himself with a horrible choice.
His violent and unpredictable father is beating his mother, as he has done so many nights before. Rio steals his father’s gun and shoots the man, killing him, though his mother is also dead.
He then must choose between Billy the Kid, played by Dane DeHaan and Garrett, played by Ethan Hawke, in an effort to realize which of them will be noble enough to help rescue his sister Sara, played by Leila George, who has been kidnapped by their evil uncle Grant, played by Chris Pratt.
Rio sets out to find Garrett and Billy the Kid, where he witnesses the shoot out that eventually leads to Billy the Kid’s death.
According to the New Mexico Film Office, production began in October 2017 in Santa Fe.
The production employed approximately 80 New Mexico crew members, 20 New Mexico principal actors and 500 New Mexico background talent.
It is produced by Jordan Schur, Nick Thurlow and Sam Maydew.
“It’s great to be filming ‘The Kid’ in New Mexico. Here in the Land of Enchantment, with the echo of Billy the Kid’s past exchanges with Pat Garrett what better place to be filming our story,” said Thurlow.
Local New Mexico supporting cast include Clint Obenchain, Chris Bylsma, Tait Fletcher and Keith Jardine.
New Mexico actor Chris Bylsma.
Bylsma plays Charlie Bowdre, who is one of Billy the Kid’s closest friends.
During production, Bylsma said the cast and crew worked closely together.
Because it was a New Mexico heavy story, Bylsma was excited to have a role in the film.
In fact, he and Obenchain, who plays Tom Pickett, took a road trip to Fort Sumner to visit the gravesites of Billy the Kid & Charlie Bowdre.
“We also went to the actual coordinates of the hideout where the shoot out between Sheriff Pat Garrett and the gang happened,” Bylsma said. “There’s not much left to identify it by now, but it was a somber, surreal feeling to know we were standing in the place where something like that actually happened.
It was over five hours of driving alone that we sacrificed out of our day leading up to the shoot, but I know we’re both so glad we were really to dig that far for our characters. What a memory.”
Chris Pratt, left, and Ethan Hawke in a scene from “The Kid.” (Courtesy of Lionsgate)March 8, 2019