EXCLUSIVE: Morgan Freeman and Lori McCrearys Revelations Entertainment has optioned Arthur T. Burtons book Black, Red & Deadly for a TV series that theyll develop about 19th century Arkansas slave-turned U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves. Revelations will work on the project with Malcolm Spellman, Ben Watkins, Josef Sawyer and Greys Anatomy actor James Pickens Jr.
Reeves was a notable lawman, a Lone Ranger before there ever was one, whose legend has largely been ignored by history. Reeves captured 3K criminals –more than Pat Garrett, Wild Bill Hickok, and Wyatt Earp– with the use of flamboyant detective skills that were ahead of their time, i.e. sting operations to dressing up in disguises. His story unfurled against the backdrop of the birth of statehood and the foundation of Oklahoma. He partnered with a brash Irishman named Chauncey Lee, and together they were tasked with the impossible: impose the rule of law in the most dangerous place on Earth. Reeves story is described as 48 Hours meets Game of Thrones, set in the Wild West.
The Civil War gave Bass Reeves an opportunity to flee from his master William S. Reeves, who made Bass accompany his son, George Reeves, to fight for the Confederacy. During that time, Bass fled to Native American Territory (which is known today as Oklahoma). Bass learned the customs of the Seminole and Creek tribes. Following the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865 abolishing slavery, Bass became a free man. He married, returned to Arkansas, but was soon recruited by U.S. Marshal James Fagan to cuff criminals in the chaotic West. Possessing a strict moral compass, Bass even arrested one of his 11 sons for murdering his wife.
“When Morgan and I were editing the film he was directing Bopha! back in the early 90s, Bass Reeves story was brought to our attention. Morgan is so well read on U.S. and world history, yet both of us had never heard of him. We decided we had to figure out how to tell Bass story,” McCreary tells Deadline. The feature project was originally set up at Castle Rock with Freeman attached to play Reeves.
“Back then we couldnt quite crack the story, which was why we were thrilled when Malcom and Ben came in and opened up this world. Bass Reeves story speaks to what we are going through now in this country,” adds the Revelations CEO and producer.
Revelations optioned Burtons book Read More – Source