Yellowstone’s Taylor Sheridan Has Some Competition As Morgan Freeman Set To Star In Another Bass Reeves Series

Morgan Freeman
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We’ve all been awaiting this “whole new world of Taylor Sheridan” for some time now, as he currently has eight shows in the works.

One of those shows is about the famed first African American lawman Bass Reeves, starring David Oyelowo, who worked as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory during the post-reconstruction era, capturing 3,000 of the most dangerous criminals imaginable at the time. Many believe that Reeves inspired the Lone Ranger as well.

The Bass Reeves story will be a spinoff of 1883, and production for the show has officially begun.

However, Taylor Sheridan may have some competition as far as telling the Bass Reeves story, as Prime Video has a show based around the famed lawman as well, titled Twin Territories, according to Deadline.

And it’s starring no other than Morgan Freeman.

Although Freeman isn’t playing Reeves in the drama, he will star as a mentor for the famous lawman, and has been pushing for somebody to release a film about the man for over 30 years.

Freeman admitted that he had grown frustrated with how African American people were portrayed in film in the past:

“I grew up in the movies watching everything, particularly Westerns, and one of the things that really busted me up was the fact that if you were Black in one of these Westerns, you’d better be a comedian. You’d better be funny.

There were no Black heroes, and that’s not American history at all, so here’s a chance to redo that, to straighten out some of the kinks in history.”

Bass Reeves has been portrayed in a number of movies, like Watchmen, Legends of Tomorrow, Wynonna Earp, Timeless, The Harder They Fall, and Justified. However, there has never been anything focused solely on the lawman.

Although Sheridan has a similar storyline in the works, Ben Watkins, producer for Twin Territories, said he believes it won’t be an issue for either:

“I think we all agree Bass Reeves was a hero who deserves all the stories to be told.

There should be a hundred versions of Bass Reeves out already, and we’ve never looked at the fact that there are other projects out there as a bad thing.”

As far as Sheridan’s version goes, we are still uncertain how Bass Reeves will tie into the storyline of the Dutton family in 1883, but we do know that the upcoming show will be a part of the series.

Taylor Sheridan To Direct Pilot Episode Of ‘1883: The Bass Reeves Story’

Bossman is getting back behind the camera.

After the dramatic conclusion of 1883, Paramount announced that Taylor Sheridan was going to be put hard to work on a number of new shows under the Yellowstone umbrella of shows.

And when fans were looking for a sequel to 1883, they announced that there would only be one season of the show and that a new show titled 1932 (now changed to 1923) would essentially be the second chapter of the Yellowstone prequel story.

They did however, promise a few “bonus episodes” of 1883, which we now know will be in the form a side story about legendary Black lawman, Bass Reeves.

The six-part series will star David Oyelowo as Reeves, a legendary lawman of the wild west, who’s known as one of the greatest frontier heroes in American history, and is believed to be the inspiration behind The Lone Ranger.

Reeves worked as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory during the post-reconstruction era, capturing more than 3,000 of the most dangerous criminals of that time period, without ever being wounded.

And according to Deadline, Taylor Sheridan is going to direct the first two episodes of the limited-series.

And Oyelowo admits that he had to think about it when Taylor asked if he could direct the first two episodes:

“I opened the text and it said, ‘I love the script. I hope you don’t mind if I direct it, sir?’ I was like, ‘let me think about it.’

 He did call me ‘sir’, that’s a Southern thing. I think he was just being polite. He did ask, which I appreciated. The reality is that he is one of the best storytellers on the planet. 

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. It’s a big deal.”

However, he adds that he would like a Black director to finish the job:

“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.”

But aside from the directing, it’s the story of Bass Reeves that’s compelling. A story that is… well, unheard of:

“The mortality rate of being a deputy marshal back then was so high that the fact that he had 3,000 arrests, and a career that spanned into his 60s, these were things that were just unthinkable.”

There’s still no word on the release date for 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, but it looks like Daniel made it to cowboy camp.

Get excited.

Most of the Yellowstone crew has been across the pond in London this week for the launch of Paramount+ UK.

Yellowstone Season 5 will premiere on Sunday, November 13th, on Paramount Network, with 1923 set for December.


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock