The prequel film to HBO's classic series The Sopranos, which had been going by the name The Many Saints of Newark, has received a Fall 2020 release date, and also gotten a new title. First airing in 1999, The Sopranos chronicled the life and times of New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano, played by Emmy winner James Gandolfini. In addition to delving into Soprano's life as a mafia kingpin, the show also tackled family drama surrounding Tony and his wife Carmela (Edie Falco) and kids Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) and Anthony Jr. (Robert Iler).
Over a decade after The Sopranos left the air with one of the most controversial finales in TV history, series creator David Chase and episode director Alan Taylor will revisit the family for a prequel film set in the 1960s and '70s when lead character Tony was growing up in the city of Newark. James Gandolfini's son Michael will step into his father's formidable shoes and play the role of younger Tony. The film's cast also includes Goodfellas star Ray Liotta, The Punisher's Jon Bernthal, The Conjuring's Vera Farmiga and Jurassic Park III's Alessandro Nivola. The Umbrella Academy's John Magaro was just recently reported as the latest addition to the cast.
Previously the prequel film was going by the title The Many Saints of Newark, but The Wrap now reports that the movie will henceforth go by the simplified name Newark. In addition, it's reported that New Line has set a release date for the film of September 25th, 2020. No other films are currently slated to release on that particular date.
Plot details on the movie now known as Newark are mostly being kept under wraps, however it's been revealed that the story takes place at least partially during the Newark riots of 1967, a period that was already flashed back to in the Sopranos season 1 episode "Down Neck." Given that Tony was only 8 years old during the Newark riots, and that Michael Gandolfini will be playing him at least in his late teens, the story will also stretch well into the 1970s. Most of the film's character details are also being kept secret but it's been revealed that Alessandro Nivola will play Dickie Moltisanti, father of The Sopranos' Christopher (Michael Imperioli), and that another elder Moltisanti, Aldo, will be revealed as Tony's grandfather (hence bringing some clarity to Christopher and Tony's murky familial connection).
For hardcore fans of The Sopranos, seeing characters from the show at earlier stages in their lives, and also seeing characters like Dickie who were only referred to on the original show, should prove to be a real treat. David Chase made The Sopranos into one of the classic TV shows in history, and now he'll try to make great cinema by revisiting the universe he first introduced 20 years ago.
Source: The Wrap