Taylor Sheridan‘s upcoming Bass Reeves has added to its already impressive cast. Barry Pepper has joined the David Oyelowo-led series. Pepper is set to portray Esau Pierce, according to Variety. Pierce is “the leader of the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles and a battle-tested warrior himself.”
Along with Oyelowo, Pepper joins a stacked lineup of Dennis Quaid, Forrest Goodluck, and Lauren E. Banks. Oyelowo will star as Bass Reeves. Bass made history when he became the first black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi in the 1870s. According to reports, this celebrated lawman apprehended over 3000 criminals and took out 14 outlaws in Indian Territory during Sheridan’s “1883” time period.
Try Paramount+ FREE for a week. Subscribe here to watch your favorite shows.
Actor Barry Pepper has made a name for himself with his standout performances in several feature films, such as Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile, 61*, Clint Eastwood‘s Flags of Our Fathers, and more. He also starred alongside Katie Holmes in the Emmy Award-winning miniseries The Kennedys.
Meanwhile, co-star Dennis Quaid recently gushed over the fun he was having shooting the Taylor Sheridan series. The 68-year-old veteran actor didn’t even seem to mind the early call time for shooting. “[We’re] riding horses, shooting guns. You know, making mayhem at 4 in the morning,” Quaid told Fox News about the production.
Why Taylor Sheridan’s ‘Bass Reeves’ tale needs to be told
Last July, Oyelowo disclosed Taylor Sheridan’s association with “Bass Reeves” during a dinner hosted by Paramount Media Networks and MTV Entertainment Studios’ president & CEO Chris McCarthy plus 101 studios’ CEO David Glasser in London. “The reality is that [Taylor] is one of the best directors on the planet,” Oyelowo told Deadline last summer.
Oyelowo went into some detail about what made Reeves so special. “The mortality rate of being a deputy marshal back then was so high that the fact that he had 3,000 arrests – and a career that spanned into his 60s. These were things that were just unthinkable,” Oyelowo said. Oyelowo remembers that when Sheridan read the script as an executive producer, he was so captivated by it that he decided to abandon everything else just to direct the first two episodes. The actor said Taylor Sheridan sent him a text that read, “I love the script. I hope you don’t mind if I direct it, sir?”
Historian Art Burton has suggested that the famed lawman Bass Reeves may have been the inspiration behind the Lone Ranger. Burton emphasizes his point by citing the numerous people Reeves arrested without serious injury or threat to himself. Burton also pointed out that prisoners were taken to Detroit’s House of Correction, where WXYZ broadcasted Lone Ranger radio plays.