Lawman: Bass Reeves first look and everything we know so far

David Oyelewo as Bass Reeves in Lawmen: Bass Reeves streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit:
David Oyelewo as Bass Reeves in Lawmen: Bass Reeves streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: /

Bass Reeves was the first black deputy U.S. Marshall West of the Mississippi River. His work centered around the Arkansas and Oklahoma Territory. In Bass’ illustrious career, he recorded over 3,000 arrests and killed 14 men in self-defense. The Deputy U.S. Marshall was born in July 1838 in Crawford County, Arkansas.

He later made Muskogee Oklahoma his home where he started a family, having 11 children between two wives, Nellie Jennie and Winnie Summer. A man born into slavery he and his family were owned by an Arkansas State legislator by the name of William Steele Reeves until he was removed when he was eight years old and sent to Grayson County, Texas.

Later Reeves joined the American Civil War in the Confederate Army. During that time he freed himself and fled to Indian territory to safety. He lived among the people of the Cherokee, Seminole and Creek tribes until he was freed by the abolishment of slavery. Now his story is going to be used for inspiration of Taylor Sheridan's latest series, Lawman: Bass Reeves.

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David Oyelewo as Bass Reeves in Lawmen: Bass Reeves streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: /

Lawman: Bass Reeves: What we know so far

The Bass Reeves spinoff was originally titled 1883: The Bass Reeves Story which was later changed to Lawman: Bass Reeves.

Whether the series will still be connected to the Yellowstone prequel 1883 remains to be seen. The series will embark on the journey of the famous Bass Reeves. One thing to also note is that Bass Reeves was the true inspiration behind the movie “The Lone Ranger.” Though the movie is not entirely based on Reeves it’s the fact that he is such a remarkable shot and sensational lawman who wouldn’t want to emulate that?

Taylor Sheridan has never been shy about introducing the stories of more than just the cowboy culture of the Wild West. We have seen him shine much light on Native Americans and that will still hold to this spinoff. Not only that but we will finally see a light shed on what life was like through the eyes of a black man.

We were able to get a taste of that in 1883 with Lamonica Garrett as Thomas who quickly became a fan favorite. Now we will get to see the epic journey of Bass Reeves who was born into slavery and freed himself after having to fight for the Confederate side in the Civil War. To a man who fled that life and found himself living amongst Native Americans, protecting them, respecting them, and learning from them. What he attains from that time with the native of the land is something he carries with him all his life. Reeves wouldn’t be the man he is without them and I for one can’t wait to see that transpire on screen.

Who plays the famous Bass Reeves?

The one and only David Oyelowo stars as the epic U.S. Deputy Marshall. Oyelowo is famously known for his work as Martin Luther King Jr in the award-winning picture Selma. Oyelowo is a British actor, director, and producer. One of his highest achievements comes from two NAACP Image Awards as well as two Primetime Emmy Awards. He has other notable works such as The Butler, Seretse Khama, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Help, Lincoln, Red Tails, and Jack Reacher.

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David Oyelewo as Bass Reeves in Lawmen: Bass Reeves streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: /

Along the journey we should see some familiar famous faces in American history that have crossed paths with the fearless lawman. Below is the cast list, trailer, and additional first-look pictures at Lawman: Bass Reeves:

Lawman: Bass Reeves cast

  • Donald Sutherland as Judge Issac Parker
  • Lauren E. Banks as Jennie(Reeves’ wife)
  • Dennis Quaid as Sherill Lynn
  • Demi Singleton as Sally(Reeves’ daughter)
  • Forrest Goodluck as Billy Crow
  • Shea Whigham as George Reeves
  • Grantham Coleman as Edwin Jones
  • Mo Brings Plenty as Minco Dodge
  • Garrett Hedlund as Garett Montgomery
  • Dale Dickey as Widow Dolliver
  • Margot Bingham as Sara Jumper
  • Tosin Morohunfola as Jackson Cole
  • Lonnie Chavis as Arthur Mayberry
  • Joaquina Kalukango as Esme
  • Rob Morgan as Ramsey
  • Ryan O’Nan as Darrel Dolliver
  • Justin Hurtt-Dunkley as Ike

Has a trailer been released for Lawman: Bass Reeves?

In a brand-new teaser we finally get our first look at David Oyelowo as Bass Reeves. It may be short but gives us a taste at how ruthless the man is to those who did not deserve to free in the wild-west.

“I’m the law of this land. I’m Deputy U.S. Marshall Bass Reeves. And your wicked days are done.”

The Bass Reeves spinoff started shooting earlier this year in Taylor Sheridan’s own Fort Worth Texas. In addition cities part of production were Weatherford, Waxahachie, Stephenville, and Palo Pinto County. There is no premiere date in place yet but one thing we do know is it will be coming this fall. A lot of the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strike but mark your calendar this fall because we will be getting the second half of Yellowstone season 5 and the premiere of this wildly exciting new spinoff from Sheridan, Lawman: Bass Reeves on Paramount Plus.

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Lawmen: Bass Reeves streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Paramount+ /

David Oyelowo seems to be having the time of his life playing the character. In an article with Vanity Fair he explains how he's living out this dream of his and worked so long to get this made.

"I can’t tell you how many times in shooting the show I just found myself walking into either a daydream I had, either as a kid playing cowboys when I was younger, or even as an actor in the eight years I’ve been trying to get this thing made.”"

David Oyelowo
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Lauren E. Banks as Jennie Reeves and David Oyelewo as Bass Reeves in Lawmen: Bass Reeves streaming /

The beautiful Lauren E. Banks stars alongside David Oyelowo as Reeves’ wife Jennie. She is the moral compass of Bass Reeves. Jennie was revealed in the article by the actress as the one who gives Bass Reeves that extra push to keep going and keep fighting. Their relationship is far from easy but I think the same thing can be said for many marriages in that time, but she is the reason he fights as hard as he does to get back to her and his family.

There is a high chance we will come across some familiar faces or connections from 1883 as Bass Reeves’ career was during that time. Reeves died in 1910 at the age of 71 but that was not before he served 32 years as one of the best marksman and most valued deputies in American history. There have been many productions that include the legendary Bass Reeves but with the passion of David Oyelowo, his team, and Taylor Sheridan’s team this spinoff is sure to rival the best of them.

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