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Yellowstone: 1883: The Bass Reeves Story: Cast, First Look, and Everything Else to Know

Some familiar faces from This Is Us have joined the cast

Lauren Piester

The Yellowstone universe is heading to Texas and back to the 19th century for 1883: The Bass Reeves Story. The Taylor Sheridan limited series, which is a spin-off of Yellowstone's Wild West prequel 1883, will depict the story of Bass Reeves (David Oyelowo), the first Black U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi. As a Marshal, Reeves was a legendary figure who was said to have arrested more than 3,000 criminals and killed 14 people in self-defense, so it's safe to say this series will have no shortage of wild tales to tell.

Bass Reeves was originally announced in 2021 as a separate series for Taylor Sheridan and star and producer David Oyelowo, but now it's been absorbed into the Yellowstone universe. We'll just have to wait to find out exactly how it fits in, since there's no obvious connection between Bass Reeves and the closed-ended story of 1883. In the meantime, here's everything we know so far. 

8 Shows Like Paramount+'s 1883 That You Should Watch

Cole Hauser, Yellowstone

Cole Hauser, Yellowstone

Paramount Network

1883: The Bass Reeves Story cast

David Oyelowo will star as U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves. The British actor is best known for playing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 2014 film Selma. Oyelowo has shared some of his preparations for the role on Instagram; in June 2022, he posted footage of himself on a horse and called the role "a million miles from [his] own experience and skillset." Lauren E. Banks will play his wife, Jennie.

Dennis Quaid will appear as Deputy U.S. Marshal Sherrill Lynn, Variety reported in January.

It was announced that five more actors had joined the show on March 17, as reported by DeadlineJoaquina Kalukango will play Esme, "a former enslaved woman who is as good as family with the Reeves' and also has some different ideas about the future." This Is Us alum Lonnie Chavis plays Arthur Mayberry, a young man with a crush on Reeves' daughter Sally (Demi Singleton). Rob Morgan (who also had a This Is Us stint), will play a "once strong-man, broken by time" named Ramsey. Ryan O'Nan plays Darrell Dolliver, one of the outlaw Dolliver brothers that Reeves is trying to bring down. Justin Hurtt-Dunkley has been cast as Ike, a Deputy U.S. Marshall. 

Shea Whigham (Perry Mason) also joined the cast of Bass Reeves. Per Variety, Whigham will play Col. George Reeves, described as Bass Reeves' "upright and incredibly cruel" enslaver.

Forrest Goodluck has been cast as Billy Crow, a young Cherokee man with an affinity for dime-store books. Barry Pepper joined the cast as Esau Pierce, the leader of the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles.

Garrett Hedlund will guest star as Garret Montgomery, a cowboy that Reeves hires because of his riding knowhow. 

Cole Hauser, who plays Rip Wheeler on Yellowstone, has teased that he will also appear in 1883. When the actor arrived at the Yellowstone Season 5 premiere sporting a goatee, he told ET, "I'm switching it up on ya. This is for a role that I did in 1883." What in the Yellowstone Matrix is this happening with this casting? Does Rip have access to a time machine that lets him go back two centuries? We'll have to see.

1883: The Bass Reeves Story release date prediction 

1883: The Bass Reeves Story is still in production, and we're unlikely to get an exact release date for a while. Based on the production timeline, we're expecting a premiere in late 2023 or possibly in 2024.

The series began filming in Texas in October 2022, according to NBC DFW. Oyelowo has revealed the show will be a six-episode limited series. Per Deadline, Sheridan will direct the first two episodes.

1883: The Bass Reeves Story first look

We got a first glimpse at an official poster for 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, featured below, at the Paramount+ U.K. launch in June 2022. The poster shows a cowboy (presumably Mr. Reeves himself) looking into the sunset with a wagon going up in smoke in the distance. 


David Oyelowo onstage during the Paramount+ UK launch at Outernet London on June 20, 2022

Dave J Hogan / Contributor Getty Images

Who is Bass Reeves?

Reeves is one of the most legendary figures of the Old West, and it's likely you've heard his name before. The real-life lawman has been depicted as a character on Wynonna Earp and Legends of Tomorrow and was referenced on Watchmen and Justified. Some historians have theorized that Reeves was the inspiration for the Lone Ranger, and he was rumored to have never been injured during any of the arrests he made, despite dealing with dangerous criminals. He even had to arrest his own son, Bennie, when Bennie murdered his wife. Born into slavery in 1838, Reeves was recruited to join the U.S. Marshals in 1875. He was assigned to the Western District of Arkansas, which also had jurisdiction over what was then known as Indian Territory, and served there until 1893. Reeves was removed from his position as a U.S. Marshal when Oklahoma gained statehood in 1907, but he continued to work in law enforcement until 1909. He died in 1910 at 71 years old. 

How to watch 1883: The Bass Reeves Story and other Yellowstone shows

1883: The Bass Reeves Story will stream on Paramount+. 1883, starring Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, is currently available to stream on Paramount+.

Season 5 of Yellowstone will return on Paramount Network this summer. The first four seasons are streaming on Peacock.

Prequel 1923, starring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren, is available to stream on Paramount+ and has been renewed for Season 2.