The Real Lone Ranger Was Black, And Now There Is A Movie About Him

Watch the trailer to “Hell on the Border,” about Bass Reeves, the first Black U.S. Marshal.

When you hear stories about the Lone Ranger, you are often told about a masked Caucasian cowboy who hung out with a Native American named Tonto. In reality, the real Lone Ranger was a formerly enslaved man, Bass Reeves, who became the first Black deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi River. After making a brief cameo in HBO’s Watchmen, his story is coming to the big screen in the Lionsgate film, Hell on the Border.

Starring David Gyasi (Annihilation, Carnival Row, Troy: Fall of a City) as Reeves, Hell on the Border documents his trials in becoming a Black lawman in the post-Civil War Western United States.

Having escaped from slavery after the Civil War, Reeves arrives in Arkansas seeking a job with the law. To prove himself, he must hunt down a deadly outlaw (perennial villain Frank Grillo) with the help of a grizzled journeyman (Ron Perlman). As he chases the criminal deeper into the Cherokee Nation, Reeves must not only dodge bullets, but severe discrimination in hopes of earning his star — and cement his place as a cowboy legend.

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