‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Movie: Everything We Know So Far About ‘Newark’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The planned prequel film to “The Sopranos” might not be “Star Wars: Episode IX,” but many of the details for this highly-anticipated film have been almost as secretive.

At the very least though, it has a potential working title: “Newark.” This is a project that boasts “The Sopranos” creator David Chase and an already impressive cast.

Originally titled “The Many Saints of Newark,” New Line Cinema is planning to release the film on Sept. 25, 2020. Here’s what else we know:

Also Read: ‘Sopranos’ Prequel Gets Fall 2020 Release and Working Title ‘Newark’

Firstly, Chase wrote the film with Lawrence Konner, a staff writer on “The Sopranos” who received the sole writing credit on three individual episodes. They are also producing the film.

Alan Taylor is directing “Newark.” He won an Emmy in 2007 for directing the Season 6 episode “Kennedy and Heidi.” More recently, Taylor has been behind some of the stand-out episodes of “Game of Thrones,” including “Beyond the Wall,” which was nominated for an Emmy in the show’s the seventh season.

As for the cast, Alessandro Nivola is starring alongside Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Ray Liotta, John Magaro, Billy Magnussen and Michael Gandolfini, the son of the late James Gandolfini, who is portraying a young Tony Soprano.

Nivola, known for films such as “American Hustle,” “A Most Violent Year” and “Selma,” will play Richard “Dickie” Moltisanti. If that name sounds familiar, it is because Moltisanti loomed heavily over the arc of “The Sopranos,” but in name only.

Also Read: ‘Sopranos’ Creator David Chase Finally Reveals Shot-by-Shot Breakdown of Series’ End Scene

Dickie was Carmela Soprano’s cousin, a Vietnam veteran and a foot soldier in the Soprano crew. He was killed when Christopher was very young, and we know of his past because Tony would frequently show his protective, paternal instincts for Christopher and shared anecdotes with him about Christopher’s late father.

He was always a “stand up guy,” Tony would say. And the show even devoted an entire episode arc in which Tony helps Chrissy avenge his father’s death. As a way of slowly nudging Chrissy up the family hierarchy, Tony tells Chrissy his father’s killer was a recently retired detective, and he then delivers the presumed killer for Chrissy to interrogate him.

The initial title, “The Many Saints of Newark,” was also fitting as “Moltisanti” literally means “many saints” in Italian.

Also Read: Ray Liotta in Talks to Join ‘Sopranos’ Prequel Film ‘The Many Saints of Newark’

The film is set in Newark in the 1960s when around the time of the Newark riots. Dubbed “The Long Hot Summer of 1967,” the Newark riots were one of 159 race riots that swept the country that year. These riots ignited when Newark Police officers arrested and beat an African American taxi driver. It sparked four days of looting, violence and property destruction in which 26 people died and hundreds more were injured.

“The Sopranos” show flashed back to this time the “Down Neck” episode when Tony reflected on a point in his youth when Johnny Boy Soprano and a young Uncle Junior still ran the streets.

Oddly in this flashback, Tony is only a kid, whereas Michael Gandolfini (who plays Christopher Multisanti) is a young adult, so there’s the possibility that the film ends up jumping beyond the 1960s, possibly to when Dickie is killed.

Also Read: ‘SNL’: Baldwin’s Trump Celebrates the Anniversary of the Mueller Investigation with a ‘Sopranos’ Parody (Video)

“The Sopranos” was a groundbreaking show for the ways in which it touched on themes of addiction, depression and race. Many of the mobsters on “The Sopranos” showed their racist sides and spoke fondly of the days prior to the Civil Rights era. Exploring their origins in this period will show how their personalities and prejudices became what they were in the HBO series.

As with any David Chase property, whether it’s “The Sopranos” or his ’60s rock film “Not Fade Away” (which also starred John Magaro), you can bet that “Newark” will be far more than just your average period piece.

The working title “Sopranos” prequel “Newark” opens Sept. 25, 2020.

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Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga woke up this mornin’, joined the Sopranos prequel

Read on: The A.V. Club.

According to Variety, Jon Bernthal from The Punisher and Vera Farmiga from the Conjuring movies have joined Alessandro Nivola and whoever will play kid Tony in The Many Saints Of Newark, New Line’s Sopranos prequel movie. The film revolves around the g…

Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga to Join ‘Sopranos’ Prequel ‘The Many Saints of Newark’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga are in final negotiations to join the cast of the prequel to “The Sopranos,” with the working title “The Many Saints of Newark,” an individual with knowledge of the project tells TheWrap.

Bernthal and Farmiga join the cast opposite Alessandro Nivola, who is playing Dickie Moltisanti in the feature film. Both Bernthal and Farmiga’s character details are under wraps.

“The Many Saints of Newark” is set in the era of the Newark riots in the 1960s, when the African-Americans and the Italians of Newark were at each other’s throats, and when among the gangsters of each group, it became especially lethal. While other plot details are vague, the film is expected to include appearances from several key characters from “The Sopranos.”

Also Read: Jon Bernthal Rips Alt-Right ‘Punisher’ Fans: ‘F– Them’

“The Sopranos” series creator David Chase co-wrote the script with Lawrence Konner. Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World,” “Game of Thrones”) is directing the film. Chase and Konner will also produce. Nicole Lambert on behalf of Chase Films and Marcus Viscidi are executive producing.

Farmiga recently wrapped production on Ava DuVernay’s Netflix limited series, “Central Park Five,” and she’ll next be seen in “Godzilla: King of Monsters” and “Captive State.” She’s repped by CAA, Authentic Talent, ID and Peikoff Mahan

Bernthal’s upcoming projects include James Mangold’s untitled Ford vs Ferrari film and he is about to premiere in the second season of “The Punisher.” He is represented by WME, Attorney David Weber and Narrative PR.

Variety was first to report.

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Vera Farmiga & Jon Bernthal Join New Line’s ‘Sopranos’ Prequel

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‘The Punisher’: Netflix Sets Season 2 Premiere Date for Marvel TV Drama

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We now know exactly when Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle will return to Netflix.

The streamer announced Thursday morning that “The Punisher,” one of the 2 remaining Marvel TV dramas, will air its second season on Friday, Jan. 18. That leaves the third season of “Jessica Jones” as the remaining Marvel TV dramas that has a season confirmed to air on the streamer.

In 2015, Marvel and Netflix signed a major deal that saw Marvel develop four series based on the characters Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, which would culminate in a crossover series, “The Defenders,” in what was essentially the Marvel TV version of its big screen counterparts from Marvel Studios, “The Avengers.”

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After first debuting “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” in 2015 to critical acclaim, the partnership expanded to include multiple seasons of each, and a spin-off series following The Punisher after the character first debuted in season 2 of “Daredevil.”

But that partnership appears to be winding down, as Netflix has canceled “Daredevil,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage.” Though Netflix has hinted that it isn’t yet done with the Daredevil character, alluding to a possible appearance in either “The Punisher” or the upcoming “Jessica Jones” season 3, which doesn’t have a premiere date.

The streamer is becoming more focused on original programming they produce themselves, at the same time Disney is launching a competing a streaming service that will use characters from the big screen Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Evan Peters, Jon Bernthal Team Up for ‘Snow Ponies’

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Evan Peters, Jon Bernthal, Charlie Plummer and Josh Gad will star in Darrin Prescott’s dark comedy “Snow Ponies,” an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.

Pat Healy wrote the script that was featured on the 2006 Black List. 87Eleven, Nickel City Pictures and Entertainment One are producing the film. Kelly McCormick is producing via the 87Eleven banner, and Tobias Weymar and Mark Fasano are roducing for Nickel City. Nickel City’s Ankur Rungta and Vishal Rungta, and 87Eleven’s David Leitch and Chad Stahelski are executive producing the film.

In “Snow Ponies,” seven men travel across a vicious landscape to deliver a mysterious package. Along the way, they are met with bandits and brutal obstacles, which makes them face the difficult decision of choosing survival, or honor and loyalty.

Also Read: Evan Peters Wanted a Special Effects Credit on ‘American Animals’ (Exclusive Video)

Sierra/Affinity is re-launching international sales on the film at the 2018 American Film Market after it was first launched in Berlin in 2017, when Gerard Butler was still attached.

Bernthal is currently filming “Ford v. Ferrari” and will next be seen in “Widows” as well as season two of “The Punisher.” His past films include “Wind River,” “Baby Driver” and “The Accountant.” He is represented by WME.

Peters’ most recent film is “American Animals,” and he also recently starred in Ryan Murphy’s “Pose” and “American Horror Story: Apocalypse.” He will next be seen in “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” and “I Am Woman,” and he is represented by CAA.

Also Read: Jon Bernthal Rips Alt-Right ‘Punisher’ Fans: ‘F– Them’

Gad most recently starred in “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Marshall” and “Beauty and the Beast,” and he will next star in “Frozen 2,” “Artemis Fowl” and “A Dog’s Journey.” He is represented by WME.

Plummer was most recently seen in A24’s “Lean on Pete,” as well as Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World.” His upcoming films include “The Clovehitch Killer,” “Spontaneous” and “Gully.” He is represented by CAA.

Endeavor Content is representing the film’s domestic rights.

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‘The Walking Dead’: Jon Bernthal Set to Appear in Season 9

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Jon Bernthal is returning to “The Walking Dead,” TV Line reported Monday.

Over the weekend, photos surfaced online of the “Punisher” star on set in Senoia, Georgia, with Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus. It’s not unprecedented for previous cast members to hang out on set, but it looks like Bernthal was visiting for more than a lunch date.

According to the TV Line report, Bernthal will be reprising his role as Shane Walsh for one episode in Season 9. AMC declined to comment when reached by TheWrap.

Also Read: State of AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ Franchise: Zombie or Still a Hero?

After being killed by Rick in Season 2, Shane has reappeared in Season 3 as a part of Rick’s imagination. Now that we know Rick will be off the show by the end of Season 9, we wouldn’t be surprised if that were to happen again, given Rick’s penchant for flashbacks.

Also Read: ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Showrunners on Fiery Midseason Finale: ‘No Character Is Ever Safe’

Shane and Rick were police partners and best friends before the zombie epidemic hit and Shane and Rick’s wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) got together, thinking Rick was dead. The first two seasons included a love triangle between them until Shane’s ultimate demise.

An individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap that leading man Lincoln would not return to the longstanding drama after Season 9 back in May. Lincoln’s exit comes after Chandler Riggs’ Carl Grimes was killed off last season.

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