Michael Gandolfini Pays Tearful Tribute To ‘Sopranos’ Star Dad 6 Years After His Death

Robert Iler, Michael Gandolfini and Jamie-Lynn Sigler attend the "The Sopranos" 20th Anniversary Panel Discussion at SVA Theater on January 09, 2019 in New York City.
Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Michael Gandolfini paid tribute to his father, late Sopranos star James Gandolfini, in an Instagram post where he honored the actor with a touching throwback photo.

The young actor, who will be portraying a young Tony Soprano in the feature film The Many Saints of Newark, said that he hoped to make his father proud as he grows both personally and professionally.

The Many Saints of Newark is a prequel to the iconic HBO series, The Sopranos, telling the backstory of Tony Soprano (played by Michael’s dad, James Gandolfini) and how he rose to the top of his organized crime family.

NJ.com reported that the film officially wrapped, and to celebrate its conclusion, some of the film’s stars posted photos to social media.

The news website reported that series creator, and the producer and creator of this film, David Chase, was on set in recent weeks as the movie filmed at Holsten’s in Bloomfield (where the series finale came to a climactic end) and a recreated version of the series’ Satriale’s Pork Store for the film.

The cast includes Michael Gandolfini, Alessandro Nivola, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Corey Stoll, Billy Magnussen, Ray Liotta, John Magaro, Leslie Odom Jr., Michela De Rossi, and Joey Diaz.

Nivola will portray Dickie Moltisanti, Carmela Soprano’s cousin, who was a Vietnam veteran and a foot soldier in the Soprano crew. He was killed when his son Christopher was very young. The film delves deeply into Moltisanti’s life, thrilling fans of The Sopranos, who knew the character as he was frequently mentioned in the series but never seen, not even in flashbacks.

The film is set in Newark in the 1960s during the tragic riots in the town, where five days of violence occurred in the area, which was sparked by the beating of a black man by white police officers. During those five days, 26 people died and more than 700 people were injured as a result of the riots.

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James Gandolfini was a native of New Jersey, who hailed from the town of Park Ridge. He won several Emmy Awards for his work on the series.

US Weekly reported that James tragically died while on vacation with his son in Rome in 2013. The actor was in Italy with wife Deborah Lin, son Michael, and James’ and Lin’s 9-month-old daughter Liliana, as well as other family members.

New Line Cinema is planning to release The Many Saints of Newark on Sept. 25, 2020.