The Wild Story of How Taylor Sheridan Came Up with 'Tulsa King'

The Wild Story of How Taylor Sheridan Came Up with 'Tulsa King'

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Tulsa King stars Sylvester Stallone as Dwight "The General" Manfredi, a New York mafia boss who is exiled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, after serving a 25-year prison sentence. Once in his new location, "The General" assembles an unlikely crew and starts building his own criminal empire. If it sounds like a story that could have been ripped from the headlines, you're not alone. The Paramount+ hit has many fans wondering, "Is Tulsa King based on a true story?"

To put it simply, no. The premise for the show came straight from the mind of Taylor Sheridan, the creative force responsible for Yellowstone, 1923, 1883, and Mayor of Kingstown. And the story behind the show's creation is an impressive one.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Taylor wrote the script for the pilot in just one day. David Glasser, Taylor's producing partner, explained that he told Taylor on a Friday that Sylvester Stallone had always wanted to play a gangster. David says, "Taylor starts to spitball the idea of a fish out of water story for an hour. Then, Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m., he goes, 'Check your inbox.' There is a script he’s already written called Kansas City King and it’s incredible."

max casella as armand truisi, sylvester stallone as dwight
Brian Douglas

The next week, the duo pitched the script to Sylvester Stallone, who signed on along with show-runner Terence Winter, the Emmy-winning writer behind The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire. The show's name was later changed to Tulsa King after Terence decided Kansas City "didn’t feel remote enough."

Sylvester Stallone himself has taken a hands-on role in the show's creation. Terence told The Hollywood Reporter, "With Stallone, you're getting a writer, a director, a producer, an editor. He's got great ideas, and he's got strong opinions about things, and he’s been doing this for a really long time at the highest possible level. He’s also been in his own skin for so long that he knows what works and knows what he does well."

tatiana zappardino as tina and sylvester stallone as dwight
Brian Douglas

Screenrant reports that the plot of Tulsa King is loosely inspired by the Inzerillo crime family of Palermo, Italy, who were exiled to New York after a run-in with Salvatore Riina of the Sicilian mafia. But the comparison stops there, and fans shouldn't go searching for clues about the Tulsa King season 2 plot in the Inzerillo family's story.

We'll just have to wait and see what the show's creators come up with next! Tulsa King streams exclusively on Paramount+.

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