A new gangster show has emerged on Paramount+, fifteen years after “The Sopranos” ended its run. The show is called Tulsa King and the series represents Sylvester Stallone’s debut in the television industry. Plus it’s directed by “Yellowstone” creator (and 103 Degrees’ favorite) Taylor Sheridan.
Tulsa King, a Paramount+ original, premieres on Sunday, November 13, with the following episodes released each Sunday.
Stallone said this at the New York premiere of Tusla King “It’s very hard to find something original. In addition, when it comes knocking on your door, you have to be a fool to say no.”
So when compared to other gangster shows, how will Tulsa King stand out? One key reason is that it’s a western set in the countryside rather than in a city. After serving a 25-year jail sentence, the character played by Stallone, Dwight Manfredi, is entrusted with re-establishing a criminal organization in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In order to make him “not like a Tony Soprano,” Stallone explained, “the concept of getting him out of New York, so he’s entirely in an alien world” is a good one.
This is a Fantasy Role For Stallone
Being a Gangster is the role Stallone has always wanted to play.
Co-showrunner and “The Sopranos” writer/producer Terence Winter has remarked that Stallone largely plays himself in the role.
Winter said, “Aside from the murder and mayhem, he is that person. It was a breeze to come up with content for him. I could hear his exact words in my brain, and I was confident in his ability to accomplish this. The acting required was not particularly extreme. His presence is intimidating, and his gaze might fool anyone into thinking they were staring into a gangster’s eyes.
Shortly after moving to Tulsa, Stallone’s character Dwight begins recruiting members for his own team.
Dwight also starts developing feelings for Stacy Beale (Andrea Savage).
In the series, there is a police officer named Stacy who has been told to keep an eye on Dwight. Savage has also dropped hints that there may be some interesting developments in her character’s relationship with Dwight.
Savage said, “We have a bond.” Both of us feel like we’ve been plucked from another culture and are trying to figure out where we belong. It was a lot of pleasure for me to watch my character become the show’s biggest dramatist and abandon my comedic roots as a result.
The actor who portrayed Benny Fazio on “The Sopranos,” Max Casella, has praised the “motley crew of characters” in “Tusla King.”
“It turns the old gangster genre on its ear,” says Casella. It’s a trip to the Pacific Ocean. He’s got a crew of stoners in their 20s and 30s selling pot at a dispensary, including Native Americans and me.