Lawmen: Bass Reeves – Cast, Story & Everything We Know About The Yellowstone Series


  • Lawmen: Bass Reeves is the newest spinoff in the Yellowstone franchise, exploring the life of the first Black Deputy U.S. Marshall and branching out from the fictional Dutton family.
  • The series will debut on Paramount+ in 2023, and the first look images showcase David Oyelowo as the stoic lawman Bass Reeves, along with the rest of the star-studded ensemble cast.
  • Lawmen: Bass Reeves offers a chance for the Yellowstone franchise to think outside the box and tell a more accurate and gritty story of the Old West, focusing on Reeves’ pursuit of outlaws and the challenges he faces in a corrupt legal system.

Adding yet another spinoff to the impressive Yellowstone franchise, Lawmen: Bass Reeves is the fourth series from creator Taylor Sheridan. Based on an actual historical figure of which the series shares its name, Lawmen: Bass Reeves follows the life of the first Black Deputy U.S. Marshall to serve west of the Mississippi River. Branching out from the fictional exploits of the rest of the Yellowstone franchise, Lawmen: Bass Reeves aims to tell the real-life history of one of the most fascinating people of the Old West. Seemingly leaving the Montana Dutton clan behind, Lawmen: Bass Reeves spearheads an entirely new direction for Sheridan’s Western universe.

Debuting in 2018, the original Yellowstone series brings Old West sensibility to the modern day and tells a gritty story about the difficulties of ranching in the 21st century. The overwhelming popularity of the Kevin Costner-led series naturally led to spinoffs, and prequel series 1883 and 1923 followed in the footsteps of Yellowstone. The entire Yellowstone timeline has thus far been made up of characters from the fictional Dutton family, but Lawmen: Bass Reeves is the franchise’s first chance to think outside the box. The new series can nevertheless be expected to capture many of the same themes of its predecessors and paint a more accurate picture of the West.

RELATED: Who Is Bass Reeves? 1883 Season 2’s New Main Character Explained

Lawmen: Bass Reeves Latest News

LaMonica Garrett as Thomas and Sam Elliott as Shea in 1883

The latest Lawmen: Bass Reeves news gives a first glimpse at the series and a hint of what can be expected in the new Yellowstone spinoff. Vanity Fair released the first images of Lawmen: Bass Reeves, highlighting the latest entry in Taylor Sheridan’s century-spanning neo-western franchise. The images include the first look at David Oyelowo as the famous lawman Bass Reeves, channeling the near-trademark stoic Western hero present in all the Yellowstone projects. The first look Bass Reeves images also reveal several members of the ensemble cast with Lauren E. Banks as Reeves’ wife Jennie, Shea Whigham, Barry Pepper as former Confederate soldier Esau Pierce, Demi Singleton as Reeves’ daughter Sally, Forrest Goodluck as Billy Crow, and Dennis Quaid as Sherrill Lynn.

In addition to the first look images, there was also some information about the show’s release date, with confirmation that Lawmen: Bass Reeves would debut on Paramount+ in 2023. Not only is it good news that there is a window for the show’s release, but it also suggests that these images will be followed by a trailer before too long. Yet even on their own, the images serve to provide some excitement for the new Western miniseries that looks like Taylor Sheridan is embracing the rough and hard like of the American West which he delivered so effectively in 1883 and 1923.

Lawmen: Bass Reeves Confirmed

David Oyelowo smiling with Bass Reeves in the background

The future of the Yellowstone franchise seems to be moving away from the original show, and Lawmen: Bass Reeves is yet another installment in the series that doesn’t involve Costner’s famous John Dutton character. Because of the overwhelming success of Sheridan’s creations, Lawmen: Bass Reeves was essentially confirmed since 2021, with Oyelowo already attached (via Deadline). The show was officially confirmed in May 2022 to be going to Paramount Plus (via TV Insider).

Originally devised as a continuation of the original 1883 spinoff, the Bass Reeves storyline was initially intended to play out as 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, though that was eventually scrapped. While the show had been officially confirmed the whole time, it was eventually renamed Lawmen: Bass Reeves in April 2023, and the 1883 tie-in was dropped entirely. No longer the second season to 1883, Lawmen: Bass Reeves will become the fourth spinoff of Yellowstone when it does eventually reach the airwaves.

Lawmen: Bass Reeves Release Date

Collage of Tim McGraw in 1883 and Bass Reeves

The Lawmen: Bass Reeves release date has not yet been announced, however, it has been confirmed that the show will debut on Paramount+ in 2023. With the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes continuing to impact Hollywood productions, both 1923 season 2 and Yellowstone season 5 part 2 have experienced delays. This means that with Lawmen: Bass Reeves premiering in 2023, it will be the only Yellowstone show that fans will be seeing for some time.

RELATED: What Order To Watch Yellowstone & Its Many Spinoffs

Lawmen: Bass Reeves Cast

Dennis Quaid and Bass Reeves juxtaposed in an 1883 custom image

As with any of the Yellowstone series, the ensemble has usually been the biggest draw for the show, and Lawmen: Bass Reeves cast promises to be similarly star-studded. A large portion of the cast list has already been announced, with Oyelowo as Bass Reeves being cast in 2021. Dennis Quaid joined Lawmen: Bass Reeves officially in January 2023, and he will play the role of Sherrill Lynn. Forrest Goodluck will play Billy Crow, Barry Pepper plays Esau Pierce, and Lauren E. Banks appears as Jennie Reeves, Bass’ wife. Rounding out the main cast, Grantham Coleman plays Edwin Jones, and Demi Singleton plays Sally Reeves, Bass’ daughter.

Two notable names will fill the recurring cast of Lawmen: Bass Reeves with Garrett Hedlund appearing as Garrett Montgomery, and screen legend Donald Sutherland playing Judge Isaac Parker. Newly announced cast members Dickey will play Widow Dolliver, Brings Plenty will play Minco Dodge (likely unconnected to his Mo Yellowstone character), Morohunfola will play Jackson “Jackrabbit” Cornhole, and Bingham will play Sarah Jumper.

Other actors in the Lawmen: Bass Reeves cast include Joaquina Kalukango as Esme, Lonnie Chavis as Arthur Mayberry, Rob Morgan as Ramsey, Ryan O’Nan as Darrel Dolliver, and Justin Hurtt-Dunkley as Ike (via Yahoo). Shea Whigham rounds out the cast as Col. George Reeves (via Deadline).

Will Any Yellowstone Franchise Characters Appear?

Collage of images from 1883 and a picture of Bass Reeves

While none have been announced, it is feasible that established characters from the Yellowstone franchise could appear in Lawmen: Bass Reeves. If the show keeps with Reeves’ actual timeline, it will take place sometime between the 1870s and 1910 when he eventually passed away. That means that characters from 1883 could appear, and even younger versions of the characters from 1923. Considering the fact that Lawmen: Bass Reeves was originally devised as an 1883 spinoff, the highest likelihood is that characters from that show could cross over. The characters of 1883 were closest to Reeves’ Oklahoma and Arkansas territory, and they could have crossed paths.

Since Isabel May as Elsa Dutton has become the de facto narrator for the franchise in 1923, she could perhaps have a run-in with the legendary lawman. Or, her father, James Dillard Dutton (Tim McGraw) could team up with Reeves as a parallel story to the events of 1883‘s season 1. Cleverly, the Yellowstone spinoff franchise has been crafted in such a way that crossovers are not only possible, but highly likely with the short span of time separating 1883 and its successor 1923. Lawmen: Bass Reeves could serve as a connector that allows the writers to bridge the generational gap between Yellowstone‘s other two historical spinoffs.

Lawmen: Bass Reeves Story Details

A split image of the real-life Bass Reeves and a statue of the lawman

Other than the basic premise of the series, no actual details have been revealed regarding Lawmen: Bass Reeves story. However, judging by the actual historical record of the legendary Old West figure, the show will likely focus on Reeves hunting down dangerous outlaws and will perhaps touch on his amazing feat of never being wounded once in the line of duty. Reeves will also likely have to find a balance between his duty and his personal life, and he will undoubtedly have to deal with prejudice on a personal level and corruption on a much larger scale from the crooked legal system of the Old West.

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