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While the idea of any sort of continuation of the popular HBO series The Sopranos seemed dead in the water with the passing of James Gandolfini in 2013, the iconic show’s creator David Chase has figured out a way to revive the world of The Sopranos with a prequel movie THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK.
The Many Saints of Newark is the working title for the feature that’s set in Newark during the race riots of the 1960s when the Italians and African-Americans in the New Jersey city were at odds.
Besides co-writing the film and producing, Chase will be involved with picking a director for the film.
Because it’s set decades ahead of the series, the film won’t necessarily be just about the Sopranos aka Tony Soprano and his family, but it’s being said that some of the characters from the series will also appear in the film. One of the characters presumed to be in the film is Tony Soprano’s father Giovanni “Johnny Boy” Soprano, who was captain of the crew before Tony and was played by Joseph Siravo on the show (in flashbacks). Other possible characters include a younger version of Johnny Boy’s wife Livia (played by Nancy Marchand in the show’s first season) and brother Junior (played by Dominic Chianese).
The Sopranos series ran for six seasons and 86 episodes between 1999 and 2007, telling the story of James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano, a mob boss trying to deal with his dysfunctional family and crew. The show received critical acclaim and multiple Emmys and Golden Globes, putting cable service HBO on the map as a competitor to the four major networks and paving the way for the current “Golden Age of Television.” Besides Gandolfini, the show made the careers of Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Dominic Chianese, Steve Schirripa and Bruce Springsteen sideman Steven Van Zandt.
Chase’s last film Not Fade Away, a period drama about the rise and fall of a young Jersey band in the ’60s, was released by Paramount Pictures in 2012, but it didn’t gross a million in theaters. I mostly enjoyed Chase’s feature film directorial debut and having him work in the same time period but with ties to The Sopranos sounds like a wise partnership between Chase and New Line.
This news was initially reported by Deadline.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor