It may be hard to imagine Tony Soprano without James Gandolfini to play him, but “Sopranos” creator David Chase says Tony Soprano is in fact coming back.
Chase told Deadline that a young Tony Soprano will be a part of a feature film that is now casting, with production set for this year. The film is a prequel to the groundbreaking HBO series, which is marking the 20th anniversary of its Jan. 10, 1999, premiere this week.
The acclaimed mob drama ran six seasons on HBO before wrapping in 2007, and Gandolfini, whose performance as Tony Soprano was the centerpiece of the show, died in 2013 at age 51.
Deadline reports that Chase wrote the prequel, “The Many Saints of Newark,” with “Sopranos” alum Lawrence Konner. The film is being produced by New Line and Warner Bros.
“As was the case with the show, Chase is clearly the guiding creative influence,” Deadline reports. “That included setting director Alan Taylor, who helmed nine episodes of the show, and Alessandro Nivola to play Dickie Moltisanti. He was the father of Tony Soprano’s future protégé Christopher and a mob soldier who died in the ’70s at the hands of a crooked cop whom Christopher (Michael Imperioli) would later murder on the day of his retirement from the police force. That character will provide an entry point into a look at the mob’s origins in the turbulence of racial tensions between African Americans and Italian Americans in Newark, N.J., at that time.”
The report quotes Chase saying: “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.”