What happens when you give a former a slave a badge and a gun and tell him he’s the law in a town where the Ku Klux Klan run rampant and Black people are still viewed as less than by their white counterparts? You get history.
Paramount+ released their first trailer for their upcoming series Lawmen: Bass Reeves, which is based on the story of the titular character who was appointed to become the first Black U.S. Marshall in Mississippi in the late 1800’s. Starring David Oyelowo as Reeves, the trailer showcases all the racism and hardships you’d expect to see Black people experience in that time period. Heck, the KKK didn’t even have the fancy pointed hoodies yet and were still out there harassing and threatening Black people with farming equipment and torches.
According to Deadline, the series is the first of what could be many which will explore the stories of many lawmen and outlaws who’ve been lost to the pages of history.
“Growing up in Texas, I heard a lot of stories about Bass Reeves. They were always akin to a dime novel hero with incredibly fanciful flourishes of a gunslinging lawman pursuing the most-hardened outlaws in the Wild West,” said Chad Feehan, who created Bass Reeves and also serves as showrunner/EP. “Somewhere in my childhood that myth of Bass took firm root in my consciousness and never left. Then one day, not too long ago, David Oyelowo invited me to dinner. Over the course of our meal, he explained his seven-year journey to tell Bass’s story, where the myth of the man both converged with and separated from reality, and why Bass’s life was more relevant than ever.”
“I immediately went home and scoured the internet, read books and listened to podcasts,” Feehan continued. “I became obsessed with what I didn’t know, with all of the nooks and crannies of Bass’ remarkable life that aren’t regularly shared, as well as with revisiting the often-told tales through a now-adult lens. That spark of obsession morphed into a raging Fire of determination, fueled by my desire to play a role, no matter how big or small, and assist David in honoring the legacy of Deputy US Marshal Bass Reeves.”
Should be interesting.
Check out the trailer for Lawmen: Bass Reeves below and let us know if you’ll be checking for this when it hits Paremount+ come November 5th.