David Oyelowo and Jessica Oyelowo have signed an overall deal with ViacomCBS and MTV Entertainment Studios to develop scripted and unscripted series through their production company Yoruba Saxon. The pact will kick off with a limited series called “Bass Reeves” about the legendary lawman of the Wild West who is believed to be the inspiration for “The Lone Ranger.”
“Bass Reeves” has Oyelowo attached to star in the title role. It will be produced by “Yellowstone” co-creator Taylor Sheridan.
Reeves was known as the greatest frontier hero in American history, working in the post-Reconstruction era as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory and capturing over 3,000 of the most dangerous criminals without ever being wounded.
“David and Jessica are incredibly talented artists and we’re excited to develop our ‘Bass Reeves’ project together with them and our phenomenal partner Taylor Sheridan,” Chris McCarthy, president and CEO, MTV Entertainment Group, said in a statement. “As the first Black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River, Reeves’ story is monumental, and this limited series will bring to light one of the greatest frontier heroes in our country’s history.”
“The stories Jess and I want to tell are boundary-busting and full of folks the likes of whom we have seldom seen on screen. The extraordinary story of Bass Reeves exemplifies just that. To collaborate with world-class talent like Taylor Sheridan to tell those stories to the widest audience possible, is our dream, and we believe that can and will be realized through the shared ambitions we have with ViacomCBS and its signature branded platforms, alongside our seasoned and brilliant producing partners at 101 Studios,” David Oyelowo said.
“We are thrilled to partner with David, Jessica and the entire team at Yoruba Saxon on this new endeavor and we are especially excited about our first project on ‘Bass Reeves’ chronicling the legendary life of the west’s most feared lawman. We can’t wait to give audiences an exclusive look into his strength, perseverance and absolutely remarkable story through our joint venture with Yoruba and our friends at ViacomCBS,” 101 Studios CEO David Glasser said.
“Bass Reeves” will be executive produced by Sheridan, David Oyelowo, Jessica Oyelowo, David Permut, David C. Glasser, Ron Burkle and Bob Yari. MTV Entertainment Studios, Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch Productions, Oyelowo’s Yoruba Saxon, and 101 Studios will produce.
101 Studios will serve as a production partner on all of Yoruba Saxon’s projects under the new overall deal.
David Oyelowo is represented by CAA, Hamilton Hodell and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano.