History is what you make it. In case Reeves bass‘ history, there are four films, a dozen or so television appearances, and some of the wildest lawyer stories in Western history.
Reeves, who was born a slave in Arkansas in 1838, had an incredible real life. At some point during the American Civil War, he escaped from his captors. The details are unclear, but the prevailing theory is that he went to live with nearby Native Americans until the 13th Amendment was enacted, which would greatly contribute to his later exposure to Native languages. and on the border in general to explain. After several years of farming, Reeves parlayed those skills into his job as a United States Deputy Marshal – the first Black Deputy Marshal to serve west of the Mississippi. He would make a living bringing in up to 3,000 fugitives from justice, including his own son. Reeves killed 14 criminals in gunfights, one cook while cleaning his gun, and both his hat and belt were removed.
Dramatic, remarkable, and hard not to root for, Bass Reeves’ life has been the basis of a handful of movies and television shows. The latest, Taylor Sheridan’s Lawyers: Bass Reeves, debuted on Paramount Plus on November 5, 2023.
A year before in 2022, the independent film Corsican saw writer/director Isaiah Washington step into Reeves’ shoes in a story about a lawman tracking a group of outlaws across Texas. The previous year, The Good fightDelroy Lindo starred alongside Reeves in Netflix’s action historical drama They fall harder.
David Gyasi, star of the Amazon Prime series Carnival Row, The 2019 straight-to-stream movie starred Bass Reeves Hell on the Borderalongside Ron Perlman’s once and hereafter Hellboy and The Paul T. Goldman Chronicles star Frank Grillo. In 2013 DCEU regular Harry Lennix as Reeves i Death at dawn. Meanwhile, Amazon has been mum about the Bass Reeves biopic that was directed by The Eternals director Chloe Zhao since they first announced it in 2018. Two Ends, Amazon ordered a separate project produced by Morgan Freeman to make a series in 2022.
Reeves’ unique place in history makes him an easy target for sci-fi, fantasy and speculative fiction stories. For examples of what one of America’s most iconic lawmakers might look like battling aliens, demons, or perceived notions of heroism in a racially divided world, check out Legends of Tomorrow, Wynonna Earp, and HBO’s Watchmen, respectively.
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