The Sopranos Prequel: Many Saints Of Newark Everything We Know

By Drew Dietsch

sopranos prequel many saints of newark feature

The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark promises to be one of the most intriguing feature films of 2021. Fans of the landmark HBO series have been eagerly awaiting any and all news about this newest installment in the franchise. We searched far and wide for any information we could about this exciting new project.

Here is everything we know about The Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark.

Casting the Sopranos Prequel

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Michael Gandolfini as a young Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark

Assembling the cast for an ambitious project like The Many Saints of Newark was always going to be a daunting task. The Sopranos prequel promises to deliver a number of familiar characters from the show but at much younger ages. We have been able to confirm a number of notable characters that will be returning in The Many Saints of Newark and fans of The Sopranos should be excited.

Most importantly, the role of a young Tony Soprano will be played by none other than Michael Gandolfini (The Deuce), the son of late actor and original Tony Soprano actor James Gandolfini. The 21-year-old actor had never seen any of The Sopranos before being cast in the role that came to define his father’s career. He decided to watch the entire series in preparation for the film and it was “an intense process.”

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Alessandro Nivola as Richard ‘Dickie’ Moltisanti in The Many Saints of Newark

Other beloved characters will be showing up in The Sopranos prequel. Corey Stoll (Ant-Man) will be portraying Tony’s uncle, Junior Soprano. Alessandro Nivola (Face/Off) is cast as the potential lead character of the movie, Richard ‘Dickie’ Moltisanti. Richard is the father of The Sopranos character Christopher Moltisanti. Billy Magnussen (Game Night) will portray fan-favorite character Paulie ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri and John Magaro (The Umbrella Academy) will play his compatriot, Silvio Dante.

The cast of this Sopranos prequel also includes a number of highly respected and recognizable actors whose roles we are not yet able to confirm. These include Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring series), Jon Bernthal (The Punisher), Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton), and gangster cinema luminary Ray Liotta (Goodfellas).

Who Is Behind the Camera for The Many Saints of Newark?

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Michael Gandolfini as young Tony Soprano makes a phone call in The Many Saints of Newark

Fans might have been a little uneasy at the prospect of a Sopranos prequel, but they should know that the project is in the best possible hands. Series creator David Chase and series writer Lawrence Konner are both on board as producers and writers on the screenplay.

In the directing chair for this Sopranos prequel is Alan Taylor. Taylor might best be known as the director of tentpole blockbusters like Thor: The Dark World and Terminator Genisys, but he actually made his name in the world of television directing. He directed multiple episodes of The Sopranos and also worked on prominent productions like Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Lost, and Boardwalk Empire. He seems particularly fit for this feature film foray into the world of The Sopranos.

The Plot of The Many Saints of Newark

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Alessandro Nivola, William Ludwig, and Jon Bernthal in The Many Saints of Newark

As a Sopranos prequel, we know that The Many Saints of Newark will be set in the 1960s and 1970s in New Jersey. The plot will feature the 1967 riots in Newark as an inciting factor in exploring the racial tensions between Newark’s Italian-American community and the Black residents of the city.

Creator/writer/producer David Chase spoke about his reservations towards making the movie but landed on the idea of using the real-life history of Newark as a prompt for what he wanted to explore. Chase talked about mixing the worlds of organized crime and the 1967 Newark riots and landed on an interesting way to showcase the history of characters that the audience might not see coming.

When Can You Watch the Sopranos Prequel, The Many Saints of Newark?

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The official poster for The Many Saints of Newark, highlighting the original release date of September 2020

The Many Saints of Newark was originally scheduled to release in theaters on September 25, 2020. Unfortunately, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic forced movie theaters to shut down. New Line Cinema and HBO Films decided to pull the Sopranos prequel from theatrical release in 2020. Many fans assumed the film would be headed straight to the streaming platform HBO Max.

Instead, the Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark was still planned for theatrical release. It was rescheduled to open in movie theaters on March 21, 2021. But now it has been pushed yet again to September 24, 2021. This looks like WarnerMedia wants to position it for potential awards. And it does look like it will still debut on HBO Max along with the rest of the Warner Bros. 2021 slate of films.

The Sopranos forever changed the landscape of television, and fans hope that The Many Saints of Newark will be an equally momentous occasion in the realm of feature films.