Paramount+ is home to some of the most popular Western series, and recently, Lawmen: Bass Reeves became a new addition to it. Created by Chad Feehan (Ray Donovan), the first season of the show stars David Oyelowo (Silo) as Bass Reeves, one of the first Black deputy US Marshals after the Civil War. In the executive production team is Taylor Sheridan, known for co-creating Yellowstone and creating other series in that universe, 1883 and 1923. This rightly suggested that Lawmen: Bass Reeves might be connected to Yellowstone, but it turns out that’s not the case.
It is important to note that Lawmen: Bass Reeves was initially intended to be a spinoff of 1883 and a part of Yellowstone Universe. Still, the show’s creators decided to go another way and create a separate anthology series where each season would follow different law enforcement officers and outlaws. The Western theme, Sheridan’s involvement in the creation of the show, and Mo Brings Plenty’s appearance as Minco Dodge are the things that resonate with Yellowstone. However, Lawmen: Bass Reeves is on a separate journey.
Lawmen: Bass Reeves Is Based on a True Story and Has No Connection to Yellowstone
When Lawmen: Bass Reeves was initially promoted as 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, everyone expected that the legendary lawman would somehow be connected with the Duttons in the Yellowstone Universe and be an 1883 spinoff. However, Bass Reeves’s story has a different approach, and it is loosely based on factual events instead. Bass Reeves was a remarkable lawman born into slavery and prejudice but overcame life’s adversaries.
Lawmen: Bass Reeves follows Reeves’ life somewhat faithfully and presents essential parts of his life to the audience. When Reeves was born in 1838, he and his family were enslaved people owned by Arkansas state legislator William S. Reeves. During the American Civil War, Colonel George Reeves made Bass join him in the war against the Confederacy. That was one of the turning points in Bass’s life since he gained his freedom during this time. Years later, he returned to Arkansas and became the first black U.S. Deputy Marshal west of the Mississippi River. The show mostly centers around that part of Reeves’s life and follows him as a loyal lawman with a badge in a constant battle between a correct moral compass and his duty.
David Oyelowo is particularly proud that Lawmen: Bass Reeves has finally happened since he’s been trying to share Reeve’s life story with audiences for over eight years. According to him, the show aims to demonstrate the considerable contribution that Black people had to American culture and heritage. How Reeves broke racial barriers and prejudices speaks volumes and is a worthy tale.
And while Lawmen: Bass Reeves is based on a true story, Yellowstone is set in a made-up universe with zero basis on actual people or real-life events. This proves that Taylor Sheridan’s talent and creativity come to light regardless of the source from which he draws them. Sheridan has, without a doubt, Paramount’s complete trust since he has already created many shows, and new projects will soon follow. It is debatable whether his talents are put to good use or whether he is being spread too thin.
Lawmen: Bass Reeves Is One Of Many Projects Taylor Sheridan Worked on for Paramount
Taylor Sheridan’s resume is rich with projects such as Sicario and Wind River, but the biggest success of his career started with Yellowstone. Thanks to the huge success and popularity that the series achieved, Sheridan soon got the green light to expand the Yellowstone Universe even further. What followed was the creation of two prequels, the series 1883 and 1923, named after the years in which the story is set with Dutton’s ancestors as the main characters.
In January, Sheridan had several shows in the workshop. With Lawmen: Bass Reeves now being released, he still has quite a few projects to finish, and next in line is another Yellowstone spinoff, 6666. Only time will tell if the quality of Sheridan’s work will be affected, considering his workload. Lawmen: Bass Reeves was well received by the critics and the audience, so it seems like Sheridan has all the strings in his hands, even though he is only one of the executive producers.
It is fair to say that Sheridan is one of the most prolific writers in Hollywood at the moment and has become a synonym for neo-Western storytelling. His lucrative projects became Paramount’s ‘Golden Goose,’ and the deal between Sheridan and the company was renewed until 2028. However, Sheridan’s tight schedule and Hollywood strikes caused several problems. For example, the famous director had a fallout with Kevin Costner, a leading actor in Yellowstone, and the strikes caused some of his projects to be delayed. Yellowstone is wrapping up its storyline in its fifth and final season. On the other hand, Lawmen: Bass Reeves is just getting started with its journey.