At this point, if you’re an actor even tangentially associated with playing a wiseguy you’re sitting by your phone waiting to hear from Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman or David Chase‘s The Many Saints of Newark. (Everyone else is getting cast in Dune so it’s fine.) Ray Liotta—who you could say is a little more than tangentially associated with the mobster genre—has answered Chase’s call, with Deadline reporting the Goodfellas star has joined Chase’s prequel to the landmark HBO series, The Sopranos.
Here’s what the actor said in a statement about joining the project:
“I am thrilled to be working with David Chase and Alan Taylor on The Many Saints of Newark…David’s talent is unmatched and the directing of Alan Taylor makes this even more exciting. I respect them both immensely and look forward to making this special project with New Line.”
Thanks, Ray, very informative. Of course, without Liotta’s turn in Goodfellas, there may not have been a Sopranos at all. Chase drew great inspiration from Scorsese’s mafia classic, saying in an interview with Peter Bogdanovich that “Goodfellas is the Koran for me.” Liotta also joins a crew of 27 other cast members that appeared in both Goodfellas and the world of The Sopranos, most notably Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, and Frank Vincent.
The Many Saints of Newark takes place during the race riots that rocked that city of Newark during the 1960s. Recently, James Gandolfini‘s son, Michael Gandolfini, joined the cast as the younger version of future mob boss family man, Tony Soprano. But the story centers around Alessandro Nivola’s Dickie Moltisanti, father of Imperioli’s Christopher Moltisanti and mentor to a young Tony. Shaping out the rest of the cast are Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Corey Stoll, and Billy Magnussen.
Game of Thrones alum Alan Taylor is set to direct The Many Saints of Newark, from a script by Chase and Lawrence Konner.