Yellowstone‘s spinoff is getting a spinoff. David Oyelowo will star in 1883 spinoff 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, Paramount+ announced May 17. The news was revealed deep in its press release about Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren joining the cast of another Yellowstone prequel series, 1932. All of the shows hail from Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan.
Bass Reeves was a famous American lawman born in 1838. He was the first Black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River, apprehending over 3,000 criminals throughout the course of his career without a single wound. Reeves is considered one of the great American frontier heroes, and his exploits are said to be the inspiration for The Lone Ranger.
Oyelowo has been trying to make a Reeves series for six years via his production company Yoruba Saxon, which has an overall deal with ViacomCBS. Sheridan (who also has an overall deal with ViacomCBS) was the one to finally say yes, but it wasn’t initially tied to Yellowstone when it was announced in 2021. Now, The Bass Reeves Story will officially be part of the Yellowstone universe through Yoruba Saxon, MTV Entertainment Studios, 101 Studios, and Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch Productions.
“I remember going out with it five or six years ago and every network cabler said, ‘No one’s making westerns, we’re not doing that,’” Oyelowo told TheWrap in February. “And then we went out with it another two years later and they said, ‘Oh, everyone’s making westerns. We’re not doing that.’ So it’s nice to finally have that project land somewhere great. And I’m a huge fan of Taylor Sheridan, so getting to work with him is pretty great as well.”
It’s unclear if 1883 will be getting a second season with Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and company. Back in February, Paramount said there would be “more of … 1883” in the future, implying an 1883 Season 2. But Sheridan later said they’re moving on “to a different era.” It’s possible 1883: The Bass Reeves Story is what he meant by that. Or maybe even 1932. Or maybe both? Honestly, we’re having a hard time keeping track. But these exciting casting announcements are keeping our interest piqued.
In a February video on the Yellowstone Instagram, Sheridan gushed over Oyelowo, calling him a “once-in-a-generation talent” he’s eager to work with. As Oyelowo added, “To look at a character like Bass Reeves — I mean, this is the guy The Lone Ranger was based on, who got whitewashed out of history. I just can’t wait to get on that horse and tell this story.”
In the same video, Sheridan teased what’s to come in 1932, saying it will show the children of 1883 as adults raising an all new generation of Duttons. The May 17 casting announcement revealed more plot details.
The new story will “introduce a new generation of the Dutton family and explore the early twentieth century when pandemics, historic drought, the end of Prohibition, and the Great Depression all plague the mountain west, and the Duttons who call it home,” the description teases.
1932 is set to debut on Paramount+ in December. A release date for 1883: The Bass Reeves Story will be announced at a later time. Production on Yellowstone Season 5 is currently underway.
1932 (working title), Series Premiere, December 2022, Paramount+