HBO News Blog

Morgan Freeman Brings Bass Reeves Miniseries to HBO

By Jef Dinsmore on Jun 6, 2015 to HBO Films

BassReevesSculpture

 

Yet another miniseries adapted from a biography is in the planning stages at HBO. This project takes us to the classic Old West to play out the life of frontier Marshal Bass Reeves. Actor Morgan Freeman is one of the producers that will adapt the Art T. Burton biography Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshall Bass Reeves.

Just who was this Old West lawman? He escaped from slavery during the civil war fleeing into Indian territory where he honed his firearm skills. He went on to become one of the first black U.S. Deputy Marshals in the Oklahoma territory deputized by the legendary “hanging judge” Isaac C. Parker. With his heroics — a master of disguises, a great shot and one of the most effective lawmen in Indian territory who brought in more than 3,000 outlaws and killed some 14 –Reeves is rumored to be the inspiration for “The Lone Ranger” character who could not be cast in that era as a black man, so he was made into a white man with a black mask. How interesting is all that? Pretty darn interestin’ I say.

Apparently the project has been in gestation for a long while with Freeman and Revelations Entertainment head Lori McCreary. Originally, back in the 1990’s Freeman himself was targeted for the role. Morgan Freeman has been quoted as saying –

People_MorganFreeman“I always wanted to do my own Western [and] that was going to be it. This is a black man in America’s legendary Western history who has been totally overlooked. Any chance I get to revisit historical moments of our country is important to me.”

What was also of importance was getting it right. It is reported that Freeman traveled to Reeves’ old stomping grounds himself to do research, including a trip to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where there is a statue of Reeves, the first black U.S. Deputy Marshal west of the Mississippi River.  

 Is Mr. Freeman too old for the role now? We will add this miniseries in development to our list of projects to keep a close eye on and will, as always, bring you news as it becomes available including the answer to that question.

(Source: Deadline

  • Ej David

    Such a shame it took so long to get off the launching pad…Mr. Freeman would have done a great justice to Bass Reeves life and character. The fact this story is finally being told and gaining momentum is exciting. Bring this hero his due credit. His name should be synonymous with American Law Enforcement. Can’t wait!!

  • Russ Jester

    In this article, you wrote that the Bass Reeves monument is in Fort Smith, Arizona. It is in Fort Smith, Arkansas! Fort Smith is The Nation’s original gateway to The Wild West. It was the last stopping point before crossing the Arkansas River bridge into Indian Territory. Fort Smith, Arkansas is where the Federal Court housing Judge Isaac C. Parker was — and still is — located. People don’t commonly think of Arkansas an Old West town, because today it is known more as a southern state. In reality, though, Western Heritage was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

    • Jef Dinsmore

      Thank you for the correction; I’ll change it. Also, thanks for the education because you should never stop learning.

      • mic510

        When does this come out?

        • Jef Dinsmore

          We haven’t heard anything since this post so Freeman’s endorsed fan site just got an inquiry. We will see what they respond with.

  • Eleonora Iafano

    I love Morgan Freeman. He’s had some pretty memorable roles. If this comes to HBO, I am so watching it.










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