Next Up In Taylor Sheridan's Queue? 'Lawmen: Bass Reeves.'

bass reeves
Next Up In Taylor Sheridan's Queue? 'Bass Reeves.'Courtesy

When Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan first announced Bass Reeves, fans were confused. Who is Bass Reeves? Was he a Yellowstone character I forgot about? Well, you can rest at ease, cowboys. Bass Reeves may have existed in the 1880s, but he's not from the Yellowstone universe. Reeves was a real figure in American history, and the first Black U.S. deputy marshal west of the Mississippi River. Saddle up, because this new series may contain some history we ought to know.

First, you need some backstory. Reportedly, producers over at the Paramount Network were mighty angry when Sheridan finished 1883. The Yellowstone creator wrote it so that there couldn’t be a second season, even though the Travis McGraw-starring prequel was a hit. As Sheridan told Deadline, they wanted to hold a meeting to discuss how certain characters may have survived their deaths. Not possible! “They’re like, there better be a fucking Season Two because we already picked it up,” he recalled. “I’m sitting here going, ‘Guys, everyone is dead.’” So, Sheridan worked up “another peek into the window” instead. That's when he partnered with Selma’s David Oyelowo on Bass Reeves. It won’t include anyone from the cast of 1883, however, because it's not tied to the Yellowstone universe at all.

Oyelowo will star as Bass Reeves, alongside Dennis Quaid as Deputy U.S. Marshal Sherrill Lynn and Donald Sutherland as the town judge. Yellowstone's Mo Brings Plenty also makes an appearance as the new character "Minco Dodge," which is sure to confuse the western franchise's fans even more.

The first official trailer for the series was finally released by Paramount this week. The preview showcases Oyelowo's cowboy getup and 1883-esque set design. You can watch it above. "You a lawman or an outlaw?" a boy from the town asks him. "A bit of both," he responds. Working from 1838 to 1910 as a gunslinger and lawman, Reeves reportedly recorded over 3,000 arrests during his lifetime. Many historians believe that Reeves would later go on to be partial inspiration for the “Lone Ranger.”

david oyelowo bass reeves
David Oyelowo stars as Bass Reeves.Emerson Miller/Paramount+ - Paramount

"I've been trying to get this one made for over eight years now—and I have Taylor to thank for rejuvenating the Western," Oyelowo told Esquire back in May. "He's really an inspiration in terms of what's possible when you have passion, when you have talent, and when you somehow have the energy that he has. So it's been a really great ride."

The series will run for eight episodes on Paramount+ starting on November 5, when the streamer will drop the first two installments. Until then, there’s always plenty of Sheridan’s Paramount shows, such as Yellowstone, 1923, Special Ops: Lioness, Tulsa King, and Mayor of Kingstown, to feast your eyes on.

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