The family returns! After more than a decade, the highly anticipated Sopranos movie is finally headed to the big screen.
Announced in 2018, The Many Saints of Newark is not a continuation or a reboot of The Sopranos, which ran on HBO from 1999 to 2007. Instead, it’s a prequel that will follow a young Tony Soprano as he grows up in Newark, New Jersey, during the 1960s and 1970s.
Sopranos creator David Chase, however, has made it clear that film isn’t only about Tony, who was played by the late James Gandolfini in the original series.
“The studio has made a lot about the fact that this is a Tony Soprano origin story. It wasn’t written that way. There is some of that in it,” he told Rolling Stone in August 2021. “The movie was not set up as a Tony Soprano origin story. It was a story about Dickie Moltisanti and it still is. It’s a gangster movie. It’s about gangsters in the late ‘60s, early ‘70s in New Jersey — both Black and white.”
Sopranos fans will recall that Dickie Moltisanti (played by Alessandro Nivola in the movie) was the father of Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli). He never appeared in the series, though, because the character died before the events of the show took place. Dickie’s death was one of the reasons Tony took Christopher — who he referred to as his “nephew” — under his wing.
Though the movie doesn’t include any actors from the show, it does feature younger versions of the characters fans knew and loved, including Silvio Dante, Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri and Corrado “Junior” Soprano.
John Magaro, who’s playing Silvio, was thrilled to participate in the movie, but he admitted that he was slightly worried about taking on a role that was already played so well by Steven Van Zandt in the show.
“I was a huge and still am a huge Sopranos fan; I had the poster on my wall in high school, and I watched it every Sunday night,” he told NME in June. “I will say that for those of us who had to play characters who were already established, that was a huge weight on our shoulders. We know how much those characters mean to people. I think everyone who plays those characters really does a service, and I hope the fans don’t feel let down by that.”
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