Bass Reeves, starring David Oyelowo in the titular role as the first Black deputy U.S. Marshall in the American West, has added a new actor to its ever-growing cast. Barry Pepper joins the project, according to Variety, which will serve as both an account of ‘true history’ and as a spin-off to Taylor Sheridan‘s smash-hit Paramount series Yellowstone. Sheridan, along with Oyelowo, serve as producers on Bass Reeves.
Bass Reeves is based on the true story of the titular lawman and Pepper joins the cast in the role of Esau Pierce. Pierce is described as “the leader of the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles and a battle tested warrior himself.” An inspiration for ‘The Lone Ranger,’ Reeves’ story in Oyelowo‘s hands finds itself interconnected with the world of Sheridan’s Yellowstone, particularly as a more direct spin-off to the Yellowstone prequel 1883 — which tracks back to the beginnings of the Dutton family story that Yellowstone centers upon. There’s also another Yellowstone spin-off in the form of 1923 — which picks up a generation on from 1883 and stars Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren as members of the Dutton family navigating prohibition America — currently airing every Sunday on Paramount+. Pepper is clearly joining what is becoming a dynasty of Western Dramas from Sheridan, who will be directing two episodes of Bass Reeves alongside his producing duties. Alongside Pepper and lead star Oyelowo in the Bass Reeves cast are Dennis Quaid, Forrest Goodluck, and Lauren E. Banks.
What is Barry Pepper Known for?
Pepper has had a long and successful acting career. He is best known for roles such as the super-sharp marksman Private Jackson in Saving Private Ryan and has had notable film roles in the likes of The Green Mile and Flags of Our Fathers. His career in television has yielded an Emmy Award for best lead actor in a miniseries or movie for his performance as Bobby Kennedy in The Kennedys. Pepper‘s recent credits include the 2021 Netflix action-adventure film Awake and action-thriller Trigger Point.
Bass Reeves is currently filming in Texas. News of the show’s production first came to light in September 2021 following Oyelowo signing an overall deal with Paramount. A release date for the series remains unknown, but whilst Bass Reeves continues to shoot, check out the series synopsis below.
“Reeves was known as the greatest frontier hero in American history and also believed to be the inspiration for ‘The Lone Ranger.’ He worked in the post-Reconstruction era as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory, capturing over 3,000 of the most dangerous criminals without ever being wounded.”