That usual refrain of “Hollywood is all out of new ideas” never hits harder then when you hear about some overlooked historical figure who is dripping in cinematic potential but lacks any film or show. Even staying just in the wheelhouse of today’s subject I can think of Robert Smalls and John Brown…both deserving of the big screen treatment.
Thankfully, if we fast forward in history just a scooch, we get to the tale of Bass Reeves. The name probably rings a bell but not as hard as it should. Reeves was the first African-American lawman west of the Mississippi. He escaped slavery and lived with the Cherokee, learning their ways and languages before being deputized and starting a career that we lead to 3,000 felony arrests….Wyatt Earp who?
Thankfully Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone) and David Oyelowo (Selma) have joined forces to bring this certified badass to the small screen by way of Paramount+. Lawman: Bass Reeves promises to bring this long arm of law to the forefront of the public psyche following his spectacular life through the episodic series. While the trailer doesn’t give much, it does give an impression that Reeves is a force to be reckoned with and that Oyelowo fits in the role like a well worn Cowboy hat.
Lastly, as a completely speculative side note. The title itself makes me think that Sheridan has plans to bring many more heroes of Wild West justice to light is this one does well, Lawman: Wyatt Earp, etc, etc.
Check out the trailer for Lawman: Bass Reeves below and look for the series this fall on Paramount+
Lawmen: Bass Reeves comes from Executive Producer Taylor Sheridan and stars award-winning actor David Oyelowo. The series brings the story of the legendary lawman and outlaws of the Wild West to life. 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.