Back in March, we reported that a The Sopranos prequel movie was in the works. Sopranos creator David Chase co-wrote the script with Sopranos veteran Lawrence Konner about the era of the Newark riots in the 1960s. Specifically, 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 setting then allows for Sopranos characters to appear as their younger selves.
The Wrap is now reporting that Alan Taylor, who previously directed episodes of The Sopranos including winning an Emmy in 2007 for Outstanding Directing for the episode “Kennedy and Heidi”. He also directed Sopranos episodes in four out of the show’s six seasons.
Since then, Taylor went with more blockbuster fare including Game of Thrones, Thor: The Dark World, and Terminator Genisys, but a homecoming of sorts with The Sopranos should be a good fit, although I imagine the canvas of a feature film will make The Many Saints of Newark feels significantly different than your standard Sopranos episodes (although it was an incredibly cinematic series).
The biggest question is when will casting ramp up and which younger characters will we see. Can anyone possibly fill the shoes of James Gandolfini? Or would it be better to go after supporting characters like Paulie Walnuts and Junior Soprano? Personally, I feel like the latter direction is better because it lets you tie in this era of gangsters we never really saw whereas The Sopranos was Tony’s story and it should remain contained to Tony’s story. That being said, I wouldn’t wholly object to Tony being in a supporting role and seeing how he compared as a young man to Christopher, his heir apparent in the series.
The Many Saints of Newark offers a lot of intriguing possibilities, and I’m eager to see this one come to fruition.