Bass Reeves Biopic To Be Made By RIDER Director Chloé Zhao (FILM NEWS)


A lot of people can’t wait to see Avengers: Endgame. What they wouldn’t give to see an early cut of Star Wars: Episode IX.

For me, this is the movie I want to see right now.

As first reported by Deadline, lauded indie filmmaker Chloé Zhao is writing and directing a biopic about Bass Reeves, a 19th Century African-American who, after being born into slavery in 1838, fled to freedom as a young man and went on to be one of the greatest lawmen of the American West as an official (and first black) U.S. Marshall.

As if that true story premise isn’t intriguing enough, some have described Reeves — who lived and served in Indian territory — as the actual Lone Ranger.

The reason for Iexcitement: Zhao’s The Rider, one of the best films of 2018 (I ranked it #4 on my Top 10 List), a modern Western that is a heartbreaking portrait of lost identity.

Both an ethnic and gender minority amongst her directorial peers (Chinese-American and female), Zhao has displayed a deep empathetic well of universal humanity that’s set against epic landscapes and yearning pathos. (It also won the Director’s Fortnight “Art Cinema Award” at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.)

Further reason for excitement: Amazon Studios will be the distributor, which means the currently untitled film will have a proper and strategic theatrical release (rather than being dumped straight to a streaming service) and, if it’s well-received, will get a strong awards season push (something The Rider was never given).

Now it’ll be interesting to see who Zhao casts as Reeves.

You can find out more about this forgotten legend on the Bass Reeves Wikipedia page.

No release date has been set, although sometime in 2020 is likely.


6 thoughts on “Bass Reeves Biopic To Be Made By RIDER Director Chloé Zhao (FILM NEWS)

  1. To the creator of the article. The bottom image is not Bass Reeves. It’s James Beckworth.

    1. Thank you, Milton. It had been cited as being Reeves in other reports, but we’ve taken it down and replaced it with another. Your clarification is appreciated.

    2. That bottom photo accompanies many articles about Bass Reeves. Plus he’s wearing the same jacket as the top photo!

      1. Correct. The comment from Milton Davis referred to a photo that used to be there that wasn’t actually Bass Reeves. It has since been removed, with the new bottom photo being correct. Thank you for contributing, Kathy! I always appreciate feedback when there is question, doubt, or actual error.

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