The Sopranos was a cultural phenomenon that swept over the popular consciousness like a wave, inspiring hundreds of thousands of viewers to start appreciating the beauty of television storytelling. Focusing on the trials and tribulations of a severely volatile and depressed gangster (played by the legendary James Gandolfini), the show defined the extremely high standards for every single television series in the future.
The Sopranos is a sprawling analysis of the social, economical and moral elements of modernity. After the announcement of the new film based on The Sopranos where Gandolfini’s son, Michael, will take on his father’s role, fans can’t wait for The Many Saints of Newark. Set in New Jersey during the race riots of 1967, this project will serve as a prequel to the events depicted in the original television show.
When the show’s creator David Chase was asked about the casting Michael Gandolfini as the iconic figure of Tony Soprano, he said that he didn’t have to think much about the choice since Michael fit the description perfectly: “Right away. Mostly because he looks like his father, and moves a little bit like him. He is his father’s son. So for a movie that’s supposed to be the same character, I thought, that would be the best.”
Adding. “It felt miraculous. And sometimes when things are miraculous or astounding, you start laughing, because it’s so incredible. But I remember looking across the room at the table read. And he was sitting there like this [re-creates adult Tony’s suspicious posture], and it wasn’t his scene. He was doing this thing and I thought, ‘Holy shit. That’s incredible.’”
The Tribeca Film Festival recently declared that it will have a season-long series of premieres and it is going to open on September 22 with the world premiere of The Many Saints of Newark. Although the film already has a scheduled release date of October 1, Tribeca has arranged a screening of the exciting project at the Beacon Theatre this month.
“I just wanted to be the best actor I could be,” Michael Gandolfini confessed. “Portraying Tony in the way David wanted, scene by scene. I didn’t think about my grief because… well, I would have shit the bed… My dad’s character had all this beautiful sensitivity underneath this aggression. This version of him is the reverse. His curiosity and sensitivity comes first. He’s not a gun-wielding gangster. He’s a kid who gets whittled down and pulled in.”
Tribeca Festival co-founders Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro said: “When it premiered on HBO in 1999, The Sopranos made an immediate cultural impact and cemented its place as one of television’s greatest dramas. We look forward to launching this exciting new series with The Many Saints of Newark, the latest Sopranos story from David Chase and director Alan Taylor.”