‘The Sopranos’ is getting a prequel movie, which earlier had a working title of ‘The Many Saints of Newark’, before shortening it to ‘Newark’. The movie has now cast its female lead and Michela De Rossi is going to be playing the role, according to reports from Deadline. Her role has been described as “an ambitious Italian immigrant who comes to America and settles in Newark.” This is the first time the Italian born actress will have a role in the United States entertainment industry, and notably, her audition for the role also marked the first time she traveled to the United States. However, De Rossi brought a degree of vivacity and authenticity during her audition, which resonated with the makers of the movie, and she was deemed to be a perfect fit for the role. Notably, De Rossi’s other notable works include ‘Boys Cry’ which was a breakout at Berlinale 2018, and she also appeared in the Italian television series ‘I Topi’ or ‘The Rats’.
The cast of ‘Newark’, the prequel to ‘The Sopranos’ is already impressive and includes the likes of Jon Bernthal of ‘The Punisher‘ fame, Ray Liotta of ‘Goodfellas‘ fame and Michael Gandolfini, the son of the late James Gandolfini, who played the role of the protagonist Tony Soprano in the original series. James will take up the role of a younger Tony in the upcoming movie. The actor opened up about how playing the role, his father was well remembered for, was a unique way of honoring the man’s legacy. He had said, “It’s a profound honor to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano. I’m thrilled that I am 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”.
For those unaware, ‘Newark’ will focus on the riots that took place in Newark in the 1960s between the African Americans and the Italian Americans. The riots were said to be instrumental in the formation of the mob and the plot of the film will explore exactly that, by setting itself in a timeline that is several years ahead of the time shown in ‘The Sopranos’ series which aired in and depicted the time around 1999. Alessandro Nivola will play the character of Dickie Moltisanti, who will be the lead in this upcoming prequel. While Dickie was never shown in the original series, he was mentioned several times as a key member of the mob and someone who acted as a mentor to Tony. Tony himself will be young and we will see how his childhood under the influence of his tough father, uncle and his mother led to the anxiety attacks that we saw him suffer from during the show. However, David Chase, the creator of the original series, is involved with the project, so we trust it will be a resounding success.
To give you a better idea of the monumental position ‘The Sopranos’, the HBO show, holds in television history, it is important to mention that it is considered to be one of the greatest television series of all times. Over the seasons, the show has won 21 Emmy Awards and is credited for having established the model that other notable shows of today like ‘Game of Thrones’ follow. Thus ‘Newark’ the prequel movie has the burden of doing justice to ‘The Sopranos’.
‘Newark’ is coming from New Line Cinema and production begins next week in New York and New Jersey. The film has Alan Taylor as its director and is expected to hit theaters on September 25, 2020.