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Bass Reeves - What We Know So Far

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The Taylor Sheridan Universe just keeps growing and growing. The man elected a mayor of Kingstown, crowned a king of Tulsa, and took us to the Yellowstone ranch in three different centuries. And there's even more Sheridan on the horizon, with the Zoe Saldaña spy thriller "Lioness." Of course, if you prefer your Sheridan shows set in the Old West, don't worry — "Bass Reeves" is on the way.

One of the greatest lawmen in U.S. history, Bass Reeves has been the focus of a mini pop cultural boom. Delroy Lindo played a fictionalized version of the marshal in "The Harder They Fall," his story factored into the plot of HBO's "Watchmen" series, and he even landed his own action flick with "Hell on the Border," where he was portrayed by David Gyasi. But now, he's getting his own proper prestige show from Sheridan, and here's everything we know so far about the upcoming Western series.

When will Bass Reeves be released?

"Bass Reeves" was first announced back in September 2021 as a joint effort between David and Jessica Oyelowo's Yoruba Saxon productions and ViacomCBS and MTV Entertainment Studios, with the TV king Taylor Sheridan involved on the ViacomCBS side. We've yet to hear a release date on the project, but we do know a few details. Early reports have indicated this will be a six-episode limited series, and it's currently shooting in Texas. When the show is ready to air, it will debut on Paramount+, which is home to the mass majority of Sheridan's work. When it's finally announced when "Bass Reeves" will ride onto the streamer, we'll be sure to let you know.

What is the plot of Bass Reeves?

While names like Wyatt Earp and Wild Bill Hickock have been bandied about for decades, Bass Reeves is possibly the best and bravest lawman in Wild West history, and the upcoming Paramount+ series plans to tell his incredible story. As the official plot description puts it, "Reeves, known as the greatest frontier hero in American history, worked in the post-Reconstruction era as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory, capturing over 3,000 of the most dangerous criminals without ever being wounded."

Born a slave, Reeves eventually escaped and found freedom living with Native American tribes such as the Cherokee. Eventually, he became the first Black deputy U.S. marshal, and the man was so dedicated to his job that he even tracked down and arrested his own son for murder. It's been reported that he killed 14 outlaws during his career, and he rode after fugitives hiding in Indian Territory, a massive area made up of a whopping 75,000 square miles. With a career this impressive, no wonder many believe he was the inspiration for the mask-wearing Lone Ranger.

In other words, we're shocked it took this long to make a TV series about the man, and his exploits sound like they're perfect for a Taylor Sheridan show.

Who is starring in Bass Reeves?

Taylor Sheridan projects always attract A-list talent, whether it's Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren in "Yellowstone 1923," Sylvester Stallone in "Tulsa King," or Kevin Costner in "Yellowstone." And "Bass Reeves" is no different. The project is being overseen by David Oyelowo's company, Yoruba Saxon productions, and the star will also be portraying the lead of the series. Oyelowo is most famous for portraying Martin Luther King. Jr. in the 2014 biopic "Selma," and he's also played in projects such as "Queen of Katwe," "See How They Run," and "The Butler."

Of course, Oyelowo is far from being the only major name associated with the project. Dennis Quaid of "The Parent Trap" and "The Rookie" will play a deputy U.S. marshal named Sherrill Lynn while Barry Pepper of "Saving Private Ryan" fame will portray Esau Pierce, the leader of the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles, a group of Confederate soldiers — so, we're guessing, someone who won't be a big fan of Bass Reeves. Garrett Hedlund of "Tron: Legacy" and "Tulsa King," however, will play an ally, guest starring as Garrett Montgomery, a skilled rider who's familiar with the ins and outs of Indian Territory.

We can also expect character actor extraordinaire Shea Whigham ("Joker," "Boardwalk Empire") to play Bass Reeves' owner, before our hero escapes from slavery. Lauren E. Banks of "City on a Hill" will play Reeves' wife, Jennie, and Demi Singleton of "King Richard" and "Godfather of Harlem" will play his daughter, Sally. Rounding out the cast, we have Forrest Goodluck of "The Revenant," Grantham Coleman of "The Americans," Joaquina Kalukango of "Lovecraft Country," Lonnie Chavis of "This Is Us," Rob Morgan of "Mudbound," Ryan O'Nan of "Queen of the South," and Justin Hurtt-Dunkley of "Mare of Easttown."

Who is showrunning and producing Bass Reeves?

"Bass Reeves" has two powerhouse producers on board — Taylor Sheridan and David Oyelowo. Needless to say, Sheridan has his fingers in a million Paramount pies, running shows like "Yellowstone," "Tulsa King," and "Mayor of Kingstown." Oyelowo has overseen quite a few films himself, producing titles like "The Water Man," "Captive," and "A United Kingdom" through his Yoruba Saxon banner.

However, neither man will be serving as showrunner. Instead, those duties will fall to Chad Feehan, who's worked as a writer and a producer on series such as "Ray Donovan," "Rectify," and "Banshee." He's also been involved with films like "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane" and "Paranormal Activity 4."

Who is directing Bass Reeves?

Back in June 2022, it was announced that Taylor Sheridan was going to direct the first two episodes of "Bass Reeves," with David Oyelowo enthusiastically supporting that decision. As the actor/producer told Deadline, "The reality is that [Taylor] is one of the best directors on the planet." However, in January 2023, Fox News reported that it had been in contact with a Paramount+ representative who'd said that Christina Alexandra Voros will be directing the pilot, not Sheridan.

Directorially speaking, it looks like Voros will be the one putting her stamp on almost every episode. The series will feature six installments, and Variety has reported that Voros is directing five of them. Voros has quite a bit of experience in Sheridan's world, as she's helmed eight episodes of "Yellowstone" (including the one where we realize why Beth hates Jamie so much) and four episodes of "1883." She also served as a cinematographer on both projects, as well as titles such as the horror flick "Ma" and James Franco's "As I Lay Dying."

So will Sheridan direct that one leftover episode? Chances are good, but we'll have to wait until Paramount+ officially confirms it.

Will Bass Reeves be connected to Yellowstone?

So here's the big question — will "Bass Reeves" be set in the world of "Yellowstone?" Obviously, Bass Reeves is a real guy, and the Dutton family come straight from the mind of Taylor Sheridan. Why would they crossover at all, you ask? Well, originally, the series was billed as "1883: The Bass Reeves Story," in reference to the "Yellowstone" prequel starring Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as James and Margaret Dutton. However, as time has gone on, the "1883" part has seemingly been dropped from the title, and subsequent reporting hasn't mentioned any connection to the "Yellowstone" series. So will any of John Dutton's ancestors be riding alongside Bass Reeves, or will the marshal exist in his own world, separate from all the Dutton drama? As of this moment, we're unsure.

Where to watch Taylor Sheridan's other shows

While you're killing time, waiting for "Bass Reeves" to mosey on up to Paramount+, you can keep yourself entertained by checking out every other show that Taylor Sheridan has been involved with. And boy howdy, there are a lot of 'em.

Obviously, there's "Yellowstone," which tells the story of Montana cattle rancher John Dutton and his very dysfunctional family as they do whatever it takes to protect their land. It's one of the most popular series on TV today, and if you want to see Rip Wheeler branding people, Beth Dutton cursing up a storm, or Kayce Dutton struggling with whether or not he wants to be his father's heir, you can stream the first four seasons on Peacock, and you can rent the first half of the fifth season on $14.99 on Google Play and Vudu and $39.99 on Amazon Video and Apple iTunes.

If you're in the mood for a "Yellowstone" prequel, you can go back to where it all started with "1883" on Paramount+ or you can watch the Duttons face off against mining magnates, sheep herders, and hungry lions in "1923," also on Paramount+. Of course, if you're not so much in a Western mood, Sheridan has got you covered there too. If you want a super gritty drama set in the world of prisons and street gangs, you can check out "Mayor of Kingstown" on Paramount+, or if you're in the mood for a more upbeat fish-out-of-water series about a New York City mobster trying to make his way in Oklahoma, you can watch "Tulsa King" on — you guessed it — Paramount+.