To celebrate 20 years since the launch of The Sopranos, creator David Chase has offered a glimpse of what to expect from the upcoming film.
A decade after the series – often regarded as the greatest television show ever made – finished its run, Chase confirmed a prequel movie is in the works. Enter: The Many Saints of Newark.
Played by the late great James Gandolfini, Tony was the de facto boss of the DiMeo crime family, one of the most powerful criminal organisations in America.
The Many Saints of Newark will see a young version of Tony as the movie looks at the origins of the iconic mobster as he is raised by his tough father Johnny Soprano and his nagging mother Livia.
Set in the era of the Newark riots of the 1960s, the film will deal with the tensions between the African-American and Italian communities.
With gangsters often getting involved, these conflicts could be lethal.
Chase revealed to Deadline his concerns about doing the film:
I was interested in Newark and life in Newark at that time. 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.
The movie will deal with the tensions between the blacks and whites at the time, and Tony Soprano will be part of this, but as a kid.
I was against [the movie] for a long time and I’m still very worried about it, but I became interested in Newark, where my parents came from, and where the riots took place.
I was just interested in the whole Newark riot thing. I started thinking about those events and organised crime, and I just got interested in mixing those two elements.
Chase added that by setting the film in this era fans have a chance to see what happened in the period Tony would later glorify, especially in early episodes of the television series.
It is going to depict when it was good. The mafia was very polished at that time, how they dressed and what they did. Those traditions were followed more loosely in the series. These weren’t guys who wore tracksuits, back then.
With the film set to enter production this year, studios New Line and Warner Bros. are currently casting.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.