‘Sopranos’ Prequel Film Casts Michael Gandolfini As Tony Soprano
‘Sopranos’ creator David Chase is keeping it in the family, which seems somewhat appropriate when it comes to a prequel movie. Michael Gandolfini, son of actor James Gandolfini, will be playing a younger version of Tony Soprano, the role that made his father famous in the upcoming film ‘The Many Saints of Newark’.
The film is due to follow the story of Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola – ‘The Wizard of Lies’, ‘American Hustle’), father of Christopher (Michael Imperioli’s ‘Sopranos’ character), and mentor to a young Tony Soprano. The movie is set around the 1967 Newark riots caused by the beating of an African American by the police. This was a time when the African American and Italian communities in Newark where at each other’s throats, breaking out in lethal violence by the gangs.
“It’s a profound honour to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano,” Gandolfini said in a statement. “I’m thrilled that I’m going to have the opportunity to work with David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for The Many Saints of Newark.”
Michael Gandolfini has been steadily working as an actor over the past few years, eventually landing a breakout role as Joey Dwyer in HBO drama ‘The Deuce’. According to Deadline, who broke the news, there was an extensive search for an actor to play Tony, but Gandolfini’s ability to mimic Tony’s mannerisms, along with the fact he looks so much like his father, made him the stand out choice for the part.
Gandolfini joins the already announced cast of Alessandro Nivola, who plays Dickie Moltisanti, along with Vera Farmiga (‘Bates Motel’), Jon Bernthal (‘Walking Dead’, ‘The Punisher’), Billy Magnussen (‘Maniac’, ‘Get Shorty’) and Corey Stoll (‘The Strain’, ‘House Of Cards’) whose roles have yet to be announced.
The script comes from ‘The Sopranos’ creator David Chase and writer Lawrence Konner (‘The Sopranos’, ‘Boardwalk Empire’, ‘Planet of the Apes’). Alan Taylor, who directed a number of episodes of the original series, along with many episodes of ‘Game of Thrones’ and the film ‘Thor: The Dark World’, will be behind the camera for the project.
We don’t yet have a release date for ‘The Many Saints of Newark’, but it won’t land until at least 2020. We’ll let you know when we have more.