Paramount+’s new series, Lawmen: Bass Reeves, has dropped its first trailer, but how is it connected to Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone universe?
Lawman: Bass Reeves is a brand-new series from Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan, exploring the career of the eponymous real-life U.S. marshal. The series stars David Oyelowo as Bass Reeves and promises to tell the historical figure’s familiar legend with all-new truths that even some of the most well-read viewers might not have known before. Although Paramount+ has yet to give Bass Reeves an official release date, the series is expected to begin airing on the streaming service sometime this Fall, bridging the precarious gap between the first and second halves of Yellowstone Season 5.
Paramount+ finally released the first look at Lawman: Bass Reeves in a Vanity Fair piece introducing the show to new viewers. The eight-episode series, however, has drawn attention beyond mere interest in its subject matter. As interesting as Bass Reeves is on its own, audiences can’t ignore Taylor Sheridan’s involvement. Given that the Yellowstone creator has crafted an entire universe for Paramount+, viewers are left to wonder if Bass Reeves is yet another addition to the ever-growing “Sheridan-Verse” and, if so, how exactly it connects to the other series in the franchise.
What Is Lawman: Bass Reeves About?
Unlike other entries in the Sheridan-Verse, Lawnman: Bass Reeves is actually based on the life of an actual historical figure. The highly-anticipated upcoming neo-western series will explore the life of Bass Reeves, a freed slave who went on to become a U.S. marshall in the Oklahoma and Arkansas Territories during the late 19th century. The series aims to balance the many legends regarding Reeves into one cohesive story, following the remarkable gunslinger and his posse as they vow to bring justice to their territory.
According to their Vanity Fair interview, Oyelowo and the executive producers of Bass Reeves wanted to depict the historical figure as completely as possible. As such, the first episodes of the series will follow Reeves during his days in slavery before being forced to fight on the Confederate side of the Civil War. Later episodes will then delve into the deeper lore regarding Reeves’s life, as he rises to the rank of a Marshall and makes his mark on history. Nevertheless, despite all this information about Bass Reeves, it remains unclear whether Yellowstone and the Sheridan-Verse are connected to the new series.
Is Bass Reeves Connected To Yellowstone?
In the months since Bass Reeves was officially announced, it has become clear that the new Paramount+ series does indeed serve as a prequel to Yellowstone. Taylor Sheridan’s hit neo-western series has blossomed into its own television universe in recent years, with multiple prequels and spinoffs expanding its world. 1883 and 1923 both serve as prequels to Yellowstone, expanding the story of the Duttons and how they came to control their enviable property of Yellowstone Ranch. The Sheridan-Verse has three additional series in the works as well, with 1944 acting as another prequel, 6666 serving as a spinoff about the Four Sixes Ranch, and an untitled sequel series starring Matthew McConaughey.
It is unclear exactly how Bass Reeves will fit into the larger Sheridan-Verse. Taking place centuries before the events of Yellowstone, the new series marks the third prequel in the franchise despite being largely unconnected from the other shows therein. However, given that the real-life Bass Reeves lived from 1838 to 1910, it is possible that the upcoming series could feature a crossover with 1883. Bass Reeves was originally envisioned as a spinoff of 1883, inviting speculation that certain cast members from the previous series, including Sam Elliot, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill, could appear therein. This would tie the legend of Bass Reeves to the story of the Duttons while also serving as some positive news for fans who have endured months of bad press for Yellowstone following Kevin Costner’s departure and the show’s sudden cancelation.
While Bass Reeves appears to be a largely standalone story, it is indeed connected to the larger Sheridan-Verse. Set firmly in a time period connected to that of 1883, David Oyelowo’s upcoming Paramount+ series is an exciting event for fans of Yellowstone, whether it includes any substantial cameos or not.