Sylvester Stallone leads a television series for the first time in his illustrious career, playing Dwight Manfredi in Tulsa King on Paramount+. The show is a creation of producer Taylor Sheridan, the co-creator of Yellowstone, also on Paramount+.
Manfredi is a former mob boss who went to prison for 25 years to guarantee the survival of the mob. Following his release, he encounters a changed world and a mob seemingly with no place for him. “There’s nothing left for you here,” the new boss tells him. “We can’t just rewind the clock.”
Dwight hesitantly leaves his old stomping ground in New York, settling in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he sets out to prove that 25 years in the slammer haven’t eroded his proficiency as a mob boss.
Tulsa King is not based on a true story, but it shares some similarities with real life
Tulsa King is a fictional production created by Taylor Sheridan. It isn’t based on a true story. However, the story shares some similarities with the exile of the Inzerillo Mafia from Sicily by the Corleonesi Mafia.
The Inzerillo Mafia was formed in the 1950s, growing into one of Sicily’s most powerful crime families over the next couple of decades. In the early 1980s, the Inzerillo family fell victim to a war spearheaded by Salvatore Riina of the Corleonesi.
The Inzerillos fled to the United States, where they received protection from Carlo Gambino of the Gambino crime family. The Sicilian Mafia Commission granted pardon to the rest of the Inzerillo family on the condition that none of them or their descendants ever set foot on Sicily.
In Tulsa King, Dwight Manfredi isn’t expressly exiled from New York, but he isn’t expected to return. “Banishment,” Manfredi says, showing that he understands he’s no longer welcome in the city he once ruled.
Following the death of Salvatore Riina in prison in 2017, the Inzerillos reported tried to restore their foothold in Sicily. However, in July 2019, the police thwarted the mafia’s plans. Following the arrest of 18 people believed to be members of the Inzerillo and Gambino families, Salvatore Lupo, a mafia expert and history professor, told The Guardian:
“The surname is the same. Riina said that if they ever came back, his men would kill them. We’ve had some tensions in recent years, as there were mobsters in Palermo still loyal to the Corleonesi and didn’t want the Inzerillos to come back, they don’t want Americans in Italy.”
It’s unclear whether Manfredi will attempt to regain control of the New York City mob, like the Inzerillo family tried to reclaim their glory days in Sicily. Manfredi will have to be careful, as the police are watching.
In real life, the police often monitor criminals recently released from prison; the same happens in the fictional Tulsa King universe.