EXCLUSIVE: Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan and his Bosque Ranch have optioned the S.C. Gwynne book Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History.
Bidding was competitive, and Bosque was aggressive to win the book. Sheridan and Jenny Wood will produce for Bosque Ranch.
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A long-standing passion project of Sheridan’s since back when the project was set up at Warner Bros, the book is an exhaustive historical account of the four-decade struggle between the Comanche tribe and white settlers to control the American West. Quanah was considered its greatest chief.
Comanches were legendary fighters, with young boys able to ride horses bareback by the time they were 6 years old. They were so masterful with the bow and lance that they stopped the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana. Part of the story involves Quanah’s mother, Cynthia Ann Parker, who was 9 when she was kidnapped by the Comanches and was a model for the young kidnapped girl in The Searchers. In the real story, Parker was married with a child when the rescue attempt was made, and she didn’t want to leave because she had no memory of life before she was taken.
Quanah and the Comanches drove back the Spanish and French, but the settlers coming from the Eastern states were more formidable. They created the Texas Rangers and fortified them with the six gun, for which the Comanches had no answer.
Sheridan has a high regard for Quanah. With a slew of series under his deals with Paramount Global and 101 Studios, e spends much time at the Four Sixes, running the sprawling ranch as he crafts the final episodes of Yellowstone and 1923 as well as all the other series he’s into. The founder of the Texas ranch that Sheridan and his partners bought had relics that include Quanah’s lance (which now is in a nearby museum). When Burk Burnett established the ranch in 1870, his friend Quanah who told him exactly where to build. The chief went out and killed a deer, and the antlers are part of the massive stone fireplace in the main living room.
“I can’t think of anyone better qualified to bring Empire of the Summer Moon to the screen than Taylor Sheridan,” the author said. “He has a deep and nuanced understanding of both the myth and reality of the Old West. I am thrilled that he is undertaking this project.”
Sheridan and Bosque Ranch Productions are represented by LBI Entertainment, CAA and Meyer & Downs. Anonymous Content represented the film and television rights on behalf of Amy Hughes Agency.
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