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David Oyelowo, Taylor Sheridan’s ‘Bass Reeves’ Series at Paramount+ Casts Barry Pepper

By Joe Otterson

February 16, 2023

The David Oyelowo-led “Bass Reeves” series at Paramount+ from Taylor Sheridan has cast Barry Pepper in a series regular role, Variety has learned exclusively.

Along with Oyelowo, Pepper joins a cast that also includes Dennis Quaid, Forrest Goodluck, and Lauren E. Banks.

The series is based on the true story of the titular lawman. Per the official description, “Reeves, known as the greatest frontier hero in American history, worked in the post-Reconstruction era as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory, capturing over 3,000 of the most dangerous criminals without ever being wounded.”

Pepper will play Esau Pierce, said to be “the leader of the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles and a battle tested warrior himself.”

Pepper is primarily known for his roles in films such as “Saving Private Ryan,” “The Green Mile,” “61*,” “Flags of Our Fathers,” “25th Hour,” and “We Were Soldiers.” In television, he played Bobby Kennedy in the 2011 miniseries “The Kennedys,” for which he won the Emmy Award for best lead actor in a miniseries or movie. He was nominated in the same category in 2001 for “61*,” which was an HBO original film about Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle’s race to break Babe Ruth’s single season homerun record.

He is repped by Untitled Entertainment, The Kohner Agency, and Sloane Offer.

“Bass Reeves” is currently filming in Texas. The series was first reported in September 2021 when Oyelowo signed an overall deal with Paramount (then ViacomCBS) and MTV Entertainment Studios under his Yoruba Saxon banner. Sheridan executive produces along with Chad Feehan, David C. Glasser, Oyelowo, Jessica Oyelowo, David Permut, Ron Burkle, Bob Yari and David Hutkin. The series is produced by MTV Entertainment Studios, 101 Studios, Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch Productions, and Oyelowo’s Yoruba Saxon.