Skip To Content

    "Yellowstone" Co-Creator To Direct Pilot About Bass Reeves, The Coolest Black Cowboy And Deputy Of All Time

    The Real Lone Ranger is coming to Yellowstone!

    Yellowstone co-creator, Taylor Sheridan, is now set to direct the pilot episode of the 1883 spin-off series, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story.

    Title card for "1883: A Yellowstone Origin Story"
    Paramount+ / Via YouTube

    Though initially developed as a standalone project, this upcoming series was announced back in May as part of the Yellowstone franchise. However, this will explore the history of real-life lawman Bass Reeves.

    For those of you who don't know, Reeves is famous for being the first Black Deputy US Marshal west of the Mississippi. It has even been widely speculated that Reeves was the inspiration for the Lone Ranger.

    R2CNGX Bass Reeves (July 1838 ? 12 January 1910) was the first black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River.

    Born into slavery in 1838, Reeves eventually escaped and lived amongst multiple Native American Tribes until he was declared a free man by the 13th Amendment. He later began a 32-year-long career in law enforcement, becoming both a skilled marksman and detective. During his time as Deputy Marshall, Reeves arrested more than 3,000 criminals and killed 14 in self-defense.

    David Oyelowo will play the legendary deputy and cowboy, who is best known for his award-winning role as Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma. He has also had acclaimed roles in The Butler, Nightingale, and Queen of Katwe.

    Actor David Oyelowo attends the 12th Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom in Los Angeles, California, U.S. March 25, 2022
    Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

    Looking at his impressive filmography, Oyelowo seems to be the right man to portray this legendary figure. "We have to populate the show with a bunch of Black people to make sure that going forward, the next Taylors are Black and brown and that there's a bunch of them so that it doesn't become a scarcity of the top-flight Black directors," said Oyelowo.

    Reeves has received more mainstream media attention in recent years as he has been portrayed in The Harder They Fall, Drunk History, Timeless, Wynonna Earp, and HBO's Watchmen.

    Bass Reeves in a black and white film in "Watchmen" (2019)
    HBO / Via YouTube

    A series chronicling Reeves's long and arduous history has been unfortunately overdue, but the story seems to be in good hands with Sheridan and his team. "The reality is that he is one of the best storytellers on the planet," said Oyelowo. "My whole thing is that we've got to tell a story worthy of that history, but worthy of a global audience and he's one of those rare guys, and I've worked with a few of them, and he's one of those rare ones who can really do that."

    Are you excited to see 1883: The Bass Reeves Story? Please let me know in the comments section below.