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David Oyelowo spent seven years campaigning for a Yellowstone spin-off

Even with all their money and fame it can take celebs years to get a project rolling, and it took David Oyelowo seven years to get his Yellowstone spin-off

David Oyelowo Yellowstone spin off

It’s not unusual for even big-name celebrities to spend years trying to get a project off the ground. It took Ryan Reynolds nearly half a decade to get his superhero movie Deadpool made, James Cameron’s been working on Avatar 2 for even longer, and don’t get us started on Beetlejuice 2.

TV is no exception to this rule either. David Oyelowo, for example, admitted in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that it took him seven years and two rejections to get Bass Reeves’ story made into a TV series. Oyelowo’s been evangelical in Bringing Reeves’s true story to life describing the first black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River as a real-life superhero.

“Not only is he a historical figure, but he’s kind of a superhero, really, hence the Lone Ranger supposedly being based on him,” Oyelowo told Entertainment Tonight. “It’s very rare to have African American stories at that time that both are inspirational, aspirational, empowered, and have all of those qualities that are not about the sort of browbeaten, broken part of that history,”

Eventually, the streaming service Paramount Plus picked up the show, rolling it into their Yellowstone TV universe and retitling it 1883: The Bass Reeves Story.

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Oyelowo’s no stranger to playing historical figures. His portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma earned Oyelowo an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture and a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture (drama).

If you love Yellowstone, check out our guide to the other Yellowstone spin-offs, 6666 and 1923. Or, if you’re sick of Westerns, we have an article breaking down the best sci-fi series.