HBO just confirmed that the upcoming Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, will feature a young Tony Soprano. The original series debuted in 1999 and starred James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano. Gandolfini tragically passed away in 2013, which is one reason why creator David Chase decided to explore a prequel instead of extending the original narrative.
According to Screen Rant, Chase confirmed that a prequel was in the works last year. The new film will be set in the late 1960s and will explore race relations during the Newark riots.
David Chase, creator of "The Sopranos," offered a bit of insight into his upcoming prequel, "The Many Saints of Newark."
— Complex (@Complex) January 7, 2019
Chase also revealed that Alan Taylor is directing the project. Taylor is known for his work on Game of Thrones and directed several episodes of The Sopranos.
While celebrating the 20th anniversary of the original show, Chase opened up about his idea to explore Tony’s early life and how he became the man we met on the titular show.
“I used to go to down there every Saturday night for dinner with my grandparents. But the thing that interested me most was Tony’s boyhood. I was interested in exploring that,” he explained.
Although the show lasted six seasons and raised the bar for what was considered great television, Chase had some doubts about the prequel.
Fortunately, the 1967 riots in Newark offered an intriguing backdrop to Tony’s childhood. After thinking about the potential of mixing mafia activity with the riots, Chase felt like it was an interesting enough story to pursue.
There’s also the fact that Chase was alive during the riots and has a personal connection to what happened.
Breaking the code of silence: Alessandro Nivola, star of the upcoming "The Sopranos" prequel movie "The Many Saints of Newark," tells AP that he will play the father of Christopher Moltisanti in the film. https://t.co/H3M1kOXyAn @jacarucci
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 10, 2019
Warner Bros. and New Line are funding the project, which was written by Chase and Lawrence Konner.
It is unclear who will be play a young version of Tony, but it will be exciting learning more about how he was raised.
While Chase is optimistic about the film, he understands that the bar is high, and that The Sopranos fans will probably either love it or hate it.
The Many Saints of Newark, which has yet to receive a premiere date, is currently in pre-production.