Lawmen Bass Reeves is no longer officially part of either 1883 or the wider Yellowstone universe, but Taylor Sheridan was still heavily involved as an executive producer. Director Damian Marcano says in a new interview that Sheridan has “done it again” with the upcoming series starring David Oyelowo and it seems like everything Sheridan touches turns to gold.
You may understandably think that with all of the many series that do come under the Yellowstone timeline, Taylor Sheridan can’t possibly have time for anything else. However, he has managed to create the Taylor Sheridan series Tulsa King, Mayor of Kingstown, and Special Ops: Lioness all while working on Yellowstone. And it looks like he’ll have another hit on his hands with Lawmen Bass Reeves, which could be one of the best TV series of the year.
“Lawmen is a beautiful addition to [Sheridan’s other series]. It’s its own thing. It’s not 1883 by any means; it’s not Yellowstone. It’s not an origin story of that [series]. I love the fact that Taylor has done it again and reinvented the wheel,” director Damian Marcano explained to Looper.
Lawmen Bass Reeves was initially developed by star David Oyelowo and his wife Jessica, before coming under Taylor Sheridan’s radar. The creator/showrunner though is Chad Feehan, of whom Marcano says; “no offense to any of the other guys — but Chad’s my favorite writer. He is doing some amazing stuff. Just as much as David brought himself to this and I brought myself to this, [Chad brought himself too].”
Bass Reeves was a real-life figure who led an extraordinary life. Born into slavery he was forced to fight on the Confederate side in the Civil War. Reeves then managed to escape and lived with various Indian tribes before becoming a legendary deputy marshal. Reeves was rarely injured and seldom had to use lethal force during the course of making arrests, something that was highly unusual at the time.
Marcano says that he hopes that Lawmen Bass Reeves brings a real, emotional history to the viewer – no matter their background. “When I first decided to do this [series], I was talking to Taylor [Sheridan], and he said, ‘Our job is to turn the mirror. The mirror doesn’t make anything up — it just shows you the way that things are.'”
Reeves has previously been seen briefly in movies, such as one of the best westerns of recent years – The Harder They Fall. But he’s never had the TV series treatment, something which can hopefully serve him well.
It never really made sense for Lawmen Bass Reeves to be part of Yellowstone anyway when it features no ancestors of John Dutton and is based on a real-life historical figure. Our own Jessica Cullen has done a good job of explaining why Lawmen Bass Reeves not being part of the Yellowstone universe is more than okay.