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The Original Idea For Tulsa King Would Have Crowned Sylvester Stallone The Kansas City King

Despite fans being split on how they feel about "Tulsa King," the Paramount+ series from Taylor Sheridan starring Sylvester Stallone has become a critically acclaimed hit earning exceptional scores on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as garnering a highly coveted Season 2 renewal (via Variety). While The General's criminal empire continues to grow in Oklahoma, many people may not realize how close the series almost came to having a much different setting.

While he has most assuredly made a name for himself on the big screen in many flicks and franchises, Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone's first scripted TV series has wasted no time in becoming a prominent player on the small screen. Right from the start, the show outdid all expectations driving a record-breaking number of sign-ups for Paramount+ (via TVLine). And the buzz did not fade out after the game-changing premiere. According to Parrot Analytics, "Tulsa King" ended up being one of the most in-demand dramas surpassing the competition in a truly impressive manner. While Sheridan, Stallone, and the other talented players have received plenty of praise during the show's successful run, there is probably some argument to be made that some credit should be given to the city itself. While all don't love the depiction of Tulsa, the unique backdrop and somewhat modern western aesthetic arguably help the crime drama stand out. But many fans might not be aware that Stallone was, for a brief time, almost destined to sit on the crime boss throne of Kansas City.

The General almost took over the Heart of America

Sylvester Stallone and Taylor Sheridan had wanted to work together for some time, and "Tulsa King" seems like a perfect endeavor for these two powerhouses to successfully flex their respective skills. But Tulsa wasn't on his mind when the idea was pitched to Sheridan on a Friday night in 2021. David Glaser, executive producer on "Yellowstone," "The Mayor of Kingstown," and "Tulsa King," was the person that first floated the idea of having Stallone play a mob boss, which didn't take long to get the creative juices flowing. "Taylor starts to spitball the idea of a fish out of water story for an hour," Glasser told The Hollywood Reporter. "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."

Despite Sheridan's excitement regarding the "Kansas City King" concept, somewhere along the way, the show's destination was changed from the Missouri metropolis to the city in Oklahoma. The decision looks like it has worked out despite some days being better than others, especially for its star. On March 23, 2022, Stallone posted a video on Instagram saying, "I'm here in the Paris of the Southwest, called Oklahoma. I like it, seriously." But a few months later, Stallone couldn't take the Tulsa heat and expressed his frustrations in reply to Andrew Dice Clay (via Instagram), saying, "Being in Oklahoma has definitely prepared me for a lifetime in hell if I ever got sent there!"

While not always ideal, Tulsa is arguably where The General belongs. It's fascinating to think what the show could have looked like in Kansas City, and if a "Tulsa King" shared universe is starting, it might not be too late to explore that concept.