David Chase has always maintained that The Sopranos series finale was his final word on the future of Tony Soprano, especially following the death of series star James Gandolfini in 2013. But Tony’s past is fair game, as evidenced by his upcoming prequel film, The Many Saints of Newark, which is set to premiere simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max on Sept. 24.
And he’s made sure to keep the story all in the family: Chase cast the late actor’s son, Michael Gandolfini, to play the younger version of the character his father made famous. A new trailer advertising HBO Max’s 2021 offerings — from Dune to Space Jam: A New Legacy — features the first images of the younger Gandolfini as a young Tony, and fans on Twitter are struck by the resemblance.
Just saw a teaser for HBO Max with a short clip of Michael Gandolfini as Tony Soprano and bah gawd am I excite
— Fultanic (@fultanic) January 28, 2021
Awww, he favors him so. Also, as a person from Newark, I love the title. Like love, love!
— Openly Black 🖤 🇹🇿🇯🇲🇨🇺 (@FromNazWithLove) January 27, 2021
Michael Gandolfini as Tony Soprano boutta be Wild af
— Skinhead (@CallmeBebops) January 27, 2021
Set in the 1960s and ‘70s, The Many Saints of Newark will feature younger versions of other popular Sopranos characters as well. First Cow star John Magaro is playing Silvio Dante, portrayed by Steven Van Zandt on the series, while The Conjuring’s Vera Farmiga steps into the role of Tony’s mother, Livia, which was originated by the late Nancy Marchand. Meanwhile, Jon Bernthal will play Tony’s dad, “Johnny Boy,” and Alessandro Nivola portrays Dickie Moltisanti, the father of Tony’s future protege, Christopher.
Speaking with Yahoo Entertainment earlier this year, Christopher’s alter ego, Michael Imperioli, said that he was looking forward to Chase revisiting the world of The Sopranos. “I think it’s going to be great,” he remarked. His co-star and Talking Sopranos podcast co-host, Steve Schirripa, agreed. “All I know is that it’s going to be great if David is a part of it. I’m looking forward to Michael playing the young Tony.”
The Many Saints of Newark premieres Sept. 24 in theaters and on HBO Max
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