TV reboots are all the rage at the moment, but given that the Second Golden Age of TV is still fairly new, we haven’t seen many updates of foundational shows like The Wire, Mad Men, or Breaking Bad. But there’s always the possibility of a prequel! That’s the route the Breaking Bad team went with the excellent AMC series Better Call Saul, and somewhat shockingly that’s the route that The Sopranos creator David Chase is taking with his iconic HBO property.
Per Deadline, Chase is teaming up with New Line Cinema for the feature film The Many Saints of Newark, which will be a prequel to The Sopranos. Chase penned the script with Lawrence Konner, a Sopranos alum, and the story takes place in the era of the Newark riots in the 1960s. This time period saw African Americans and the Italians of Newark at each other’s throats, and the gangsters of each group took lethal measures.
The idea is for characters from The Sopranos to appear in this movie, and while specific details are unknown at this time, it stands to reason we might see Tony Soprano’s father Giovanni “Johnny Boy” and his wife Livia in the film. While Chase made his directorial debut with the 2010 feature Not Fade Away it doesn’t sound like he intends to direct Newark, as he will be involved with selecting a director and will serve as a producer on the film.
This is a major get for New Line as The Sopranos is one of the most iconic and beloved TV shows of all time. Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich said in a statement that he’s thrilled Chase has “decided to revisit, and enlarge, the Soprano universe in a feature film.”
In an era when studios are no longer making mid-budget dramas this is incredibly exciting, even if it is a safer bet given that it’s based on existing material. While I don’t necessarily think The Sopranos needs revisiting (it’s the greatest TV show of all time, full-stop), I’m definitely down to see what Chase has to say here. If he wasn’t involved I’d be out, but the guy is a creative genius so in order to revisit this series after that iconic finale, he must have something worthwhile.