The final scene of The Sopranos series finale is one of the most debated scenes in television history. After nearly 12 years since it’s airing, Sopranos creator David Chase has confirmed what fans have been debating since their screen first went black: Tony Soprano may have died.
In the scene, Tony, played by the late actor James Gandolfini, is sitting in a diner with his family and is convinced that a rival gang is after him. A stranger walks into the diner and is seen looking at Tony. He is then seen going into the bathroom. The scene then dramatically cuts to black for ten seconds before the final credits roll in silence.
Now, with the program celebrating its 20th anniversary, Chase decided it was time to finally reveal what happened. Previously, all of the creatives behind the show had refused to speculate on what the ending meant.
But according to Time, Chase has now spilled the beans in a new book entitled The Sopranos Sessions, written by entertainment journalists Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz.
During interviews carried out for the book, Chase admits that he had planned the death scene up to two years before the final episode aired.
Sepinwall asked Chase, “When you said there was an end point, you don’t mean Tony at Holsten’s, you just meant, ‘I think I have two more years worth of stories left in me’?”
Chase replied saying, “Yes, I think I had that death scene around two years before the end. I remember talking with [writer/ executive producer] Mitch Burgess about it. But it wasn’t – it was slightly different.”
“Tony was going to get called to a meeting with Johnny Sack in Manhattan, and he was going to go back through the Lincoln Tunnel for this meeting,” he continued. “It was going to go black there and you never saw him again as he was heading back, the theory being that something bad happens to him at the meeting. But we didn’t do that.”
Seitz then said to Chase, “You realize, of course, that you just referred to that as a death scene.” After an extremely long pause, Chase’s merely replied, “F*** you guys.”
Chase is then reported to have refused to answer further questions about the scene, although according to Uproxx, Chase also told them he “didn’t want to do a straight death scene,” and that the idea behind the final scene was that “[Tony] could have been whacked.”
While the comments are still far from precise, nearly twelve years on from when the infamous final scene first aired, fans now at least have a small insight into what happened.