From to 1999 to 2007, The Sopranos set a new bar for network television. In 2013, series star James Gandolfini passed away suddenly at age 51, thus ending discussions about a narrative continuation while raising questions about a possible prequel. Last year, The Sopranos creator David Chase confirmed that he’d started developing The Many Saints of Newark, and that Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor would helm the movie. In the past, Taylor directed nine episodes of The Sopranos. Last January, Gandolfini’s son Michael was cast to portray a younger version of Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark.
Per Deadline, Magaro has been cast in The Many Saints of Newark, though it’s unclear what role he’ll play. This addition is significant, as Magaro starred in Chase’s 2012 directorial debut Not Fade Away. In that film - also set in 1960s New Jersey - Magaro plays the late Gandolfini’s son. In 2018, Magaro co-starred in the war horror film Overlord and also had a recurring role in the Amazon series Jack Ryan. In 2019, Magaro has a main role as Leonard Peabody on the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy. Next year, he’ll appear in the drama Sylvie starring Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha.
Over the past two months, The Many Saints of Newark has rounded out its main cast. Aside from Magaro and Gandolfini, Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga were added in January, while Corey Stoll and Billy Magnussen were announced as cast members the following day. In February, The Many Saints of Newark added mob movie royalty to the main lineup with Ray Liotta. In 1990, the veteran actor starred in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, which is not only regarded as one of the best gangster films, but arguably one of the best films of the decade.
While The Many Saints of Newark continues to maintain buzz, Chase and company have remained relatively quiet about the specifics. In January, Chase celebrated The Sopranos’ 20th anniversary in New York City and discussed his familial connections to Newark. Journalists Matt Zoller Seitz and Alan Sepinwall also attended the anniversary events: when The Sopranos first premiered in 1999, they covered the HBO series for Chase’s hometown newspaper, The Star-Ledger. Two decades later, Seitz and Sepinwall wrote a book, The Sopranos Sessions, to celebrate the iconic TV show.
At 36 years old, John Magaro has firmly established himself as a strong character actor in both feature films and television. Given the magnitude of his recent roles, including The Many Saints of Newark, the actor’s career trajectory seems to be on the rise.