Wake up and grab a gun, The Sopranos prequel is happening


The ending to HBO’s The Sopranos is still open to interpretations.

The black screen and silence left the future unknown. A new Sopranos prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark, will show the prologue of a young Tony and the world the molded the man fans grew to love on the HBO series.

The Sopranos is a year from being of legal drinking age. Not that any self-respecting man of means, or on the payroll, would bother with the hassle of being ID’ed for booze. Either the counterman knows better, or a simple minor trying to purchase liquor charge can become a small-time booze heist followed by arson.

It’s just the life. Well, the life of a man with associates and interest in certain industries.

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Now Sopranos fans can look forward to seeing more of the life. The creator of the HBO series, David Chase, recently gave comments shedding some light on his feelings and the timeline with The Many Saints of Newark. The prequel movie was co-written with Sopranos veteran Lawrence Konner.

Speaking at a film festival celebrating The Sopranos, complete with five days of live events, airings of classic episodes, and forum discussions, Chase gave fans plenty to think about. Chase even expressed apprehension in going forward with the project.

"“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 living in suburban New Jersey at the time that happened, and my girlfriend was working in downtown Newark. I was just interested in the whole Newark riot thing. I started thinking about those events and organized crime, and I just got interested in mixing those two elements.”"

If it were just a project extending the life of an iconic fictional character, this movie likely never gets produced. However, Chase’s interest in the history and culture of the time when men like Tony Soprano could thrive was a catalyst.

"“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.”"

Casting has began, with a familiar face — Alessandro Nivola playing Dickie Moltisanti. The last name should be familiar to even the casual fan. The older Moltisanti fathered Tony’s haphazard gopher Christopher. Dickie was killed by a cop, whom Christopher (Michael Imperioli) later killed on the cop’s last day on the beat.

The days of Tony on the throne are not the focus of the movie. Chase said the ‘tensions between blacks and whites at the time’ will be more prominent, with a younger Tony a part of the story. The relationships between the different factions and ethnics groups trying to control territory was part of a larger dynamic, and those racial tensions affected just even more people than the mob. Yes, even in Jersey. Fagetaboutit my guy.

Racial tensions aside, what about a young Tony’s mother? While Tony’s father ran the streets, his intolerable mother left the bigger impression on Tony. The panic attacks and therapy alone almost drove Tony to an early grave at the bottom of a duck-free pool.

No, The Many Saints of Newark will show the better times of the mob along with a passing look at a young Tony Soprano. The rule and traditions Tony held so dear will be inspected. Chase told Deadline as much, saying:

"“It is going to depict when it was good,” he said. “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.”"

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So button up and get your self presentable. When you woke up this morning, did you grab yourself a gun? Might want to, the boss is coming back to a screen near you.