‘Sopranos’ Prequel ‘The Many Saints Of Newark’ Sets Tony-Winning ‘Hamilton’ Star Leslie Odom Jr. For Key Role

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: New Line has set Tony-winning actor Leslie Odom Jr. for a starring role in The Many Saints Of Newark, the prequel film to David Chase’s iconic HBO series The Sopranos. He joins Alessandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, Ray Liotta, Jon Bernthal,…

Nat Wolff To Make Directorial Debut With ‘Youngest’ Starring Michael Gandolfini

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Actor Nat Wolff is best known for his roles in films like The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns and Death Note, but now he is set to take his talent behind the camera with his directorial debut Youngest.
Written by Wolff, the short film will s…

‘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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Michael Gandolfini, Son of James, to Play Young Tony Soprano in ‘Sopranos’ Prequel

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“The Many Saints of Newark” has cast Tony Soprano and it’s a family affair: Michael Gandolfini, son of the late James Gandolfini, will play the young version of the character his father originated in the upcoming prequel to “The Sopranos,” a person with knowledge of the casting told TheWrap.

Michael Gandolfini’s previous credits include several episodes of HBO’s “The Deuce,” and “Ocean’s 8.” He joins previously announced cast members Corey Stoll, illy Magnussen, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga and Alessandro Nivola, who is playing Dickie Moltisanti in the feature film.

“The Many Saints of Newark” is set in the 1960s during the Newark riots, five days of violence in the New Jersey city sparked by the beating of a black man by white police officers. At the time it was especially lethal among African American and Italian American gangsters involved in the fighting — 26 people died and more than 700 people were injured during the riot.

Also Read: ‘Sopranos’ Prequel Movie Adds Corey Stoll and Billy Magnussen

Deadline first reported the news of the younger Gandolfini’s casting.

Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World”), who helmed 9 episodes of the groundbreaking HBO series, will direct the film co-written by “The Sopranos” series creator David Chase and Lawrence Konner.

Chase and Konner will also produce. Nicole Lambert, on behalf of Chase Films, and Marcus Viscidi are executive producing.

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James Gandolfini’s son to play kid Tony in the Sopranos prequel movie 

Read on: The A.V. Club.

In a move that seems very appropriate for the family-centric nature of a mafia story, Sopranos creator David Chase has cast Michael Gandolfini to play the young version of Tony Soprano in director Alan Taylor’s prequel movie The Many Saints Of Newark. …

‘Sopranos’ Prequel Film Finds Young Tony: Michael Gandolfini Is Chip Off Old Block

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: The Sopranos creator David Chase has found his Tony Soprano. Michael Gandolfini has been set to play the future New Jersey organized crime family boss in The Many Saints of Newark, the feature prequel to Chase’s groundbreaking TV serie…