They first started attempting to curiosity studios and networks in 2015. “Paramount+ didn’t exist at the moment, and I feel Taylor Sheridan was nonetheless attempting to be an actor again then, so it was fairly some time in the past,” Oyelowo says. “We went out with the challenge twice over the course of about two to 3 years, and the primary time round, all the business stated, ‘No, we’re not doing that as a result of nobody’s doing Westerns.’ After which the second time round, all the business stated, ‘No, we’re not doing that as a result of everybody’s doing Westerns.’”
The challenge stalled for a number of years. Then Yellowstone occurred, and the waxing and waning starvation for frontier tales turned voracious. “Taylor got here alongside and indisputably reimagined and reinvigorated the Western,” Oyelowo says. “I talked to him, and he’s an actual historian round these items. At that time, I’d been studying up on Bass Reeves for fairly some time—and [Sheridan] was the one individual I’d spoken to who knew at the least as a lot, if no more, as I did. His ardour for it simply began making it really feel like this is likely to be an amazing collaboration. After which quickly afterwards, Paramount+ expressed curiosity and we have been off to the races.”
Over the following years, Bass Reeves truly has turned up just a few instances onscreen, though by no means with as a lot singular focus as this present provides him. Delroy Lindo performed Reeves within the fictionalized 2021 motion Western The Tougher They Fall, and Colman Domingo performed him in a 2017 episode of the time-travel collection Timeless. In 2019’s Watchmen, Jamal Akakpo performed an actor taking part in Reeves in a Twenties-era silent movie that options prominently within the superhero story, whereas Jaleel White spoofed Reeves within the comedic re-creation present Drunk Historical past in 2015.