FORT SMITH, Ark. — Paramount+ has plans to produce a Bass Reeves limited series as part of its “Yellowstone” spinoff “1883.” State and local officials are mum about any chance all or parts of the series will be filmed in or near Fort Smith, which was the home base for the legendary U.S. Deputy Marshal.
The streaming service’s plans for the project were announced Wednesday (May 18) by officials with MTV Entertainment Studios. Actor David Oyelowo was named to play Reeves in the series. His lengthy list of acting work includes “Interstellar,” “The Cloverfield Paradox,” and most notably portraying Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma.” Other companies announced as part of the production team were Taylor Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch Productions, Oyelowo’s Yoruba Saxon, and 101 Studios will produce.
Reeves was a U.S. Deputy Marshal under U.S. Federal Judge Isaac C. Parker. Reeves was born a slave in Texas in 1838 and died in Muskogee, Okla., on Jan. 12, 1910. Reeves was an African-American and illiterate, but captured more outlaws than anyone else, according to the book, “Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves,” written by Art Burton. Burton wrote that Reeves was an expert tracker and detective, and was able to memorize the warrants for every lawbreaker he was to arrest and bring to trial. Reeves was the first African-American inducted into the Great Westerners Hall of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City in 1992.
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