In the most stunning twist of all for fans of the iconic HBO series The Sopranos, the show’s creator David Chase has hired James Gandolfini’s son Michael to star as a young Tony Soprano for the series’ prequel film The Many Saints of Newark.
Deadline reported that Michael Gandolfini would take over the role on January 22. Michael is the son of the late actor, who originally played the organized crime family boss in the hit HBO series.
James Gandolfini died suddenly of a heart attack in 2013 while vacationing in Rome with a then 13-year-old Michael, who sadly found his father unconscious before paramedics were called.
“It’s a profound honor to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano,” the 19-year-old actor told Deadline.
“I’m thrilled that I’m going to have the opportunity to work with David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for The Many Saints of Newark.”
E! News reported that Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Alessandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, and Billy Magnussen will co-star alongside Gandolfini in the movie.
The news outlet also reported that Alan Taylor is set to direct the film, which will be produced by New Line.
Unlike the original HBO series, the prequel will take place in the ’60s during the Newark, New Jersey, riots, an era when African-Americans and Italians were fighting, reported E! News. Twenty-six people died and hundreds were injured in New Jersey’s largest city.
The prequel will detail just how a young Tony Soprano entered the underground world of crime, revealed Deadline.
Deadline reported The Many Saints of Newark will focus on Richard “Dickie” Moltisanti (played by Nivola) who mentors a young Tony and how his father, Johnny Boy, leads him to a path of organized crime.
The groundbreaking HBO series recently celebrated its 20th anniversary on January 10, 2019, reported Entertainment Weekly.
To honor their work on the series, former cast members from the series reunited in New York City to talk about their experiences from the show, including Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Steven Van Zandt, Tony Sirico, and Robert Iler.
James Gandolfini originated the role of Tony Soprano on the HBO series, which premiered in 1999 and ran for six seasons.
The Sopranos explored the dynamics of the fictional head of a New Jersey-based crime family. The role earned him three Primetime Emmys, one Golden Globe, and three SAG awards. The elder Gandolfini died in 2013 at the age of 51, per Variety.
Michael Gandolfini is best known for his role as Joey Dwyer on HBO’s The Deuce.
As of right now, there is no release date for the prequel.