‘The Sopranos’, the HBO crime drama series that is a masterpiece, is going to live on as a feature-length film. It has gotten an official name, ‘Newark, that has been shortened from the initial working title of the movie, ‘The Many Saints of Newark’. The movie also has a fixed release date and is expected to hit theaters on September 5, 2020. Unlike the series, the movie will get a theatrical release, instead of airing on HBO. It would be remiss here not to draw a comparison between ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘Deadwood’, both of which are immensely popular and acclaimed crime dramas on HBO and are getting films made on them. However, while the ‘Deadwood’ movie will see a continuation of the plot, ‘The Sopranos’ movie, ‘Newark’, will appear as an origin styled prequel story.
Notably, ‘Newark’ had been in the news for the past several months as reports of casting kept flitting in, but it was only on Thursday, March 14, 2019, that the details were made official with the film getting its title and release date.
The upcoming movie will be set during the riots that took place in Newark in the 1960s. It will set the stage for the beginning of the crime families that we saw in ‘The Sopranos’ which first aired back in 1999. The film will center around a younger version of Tony Soprano, who was the protagonist of the show. We will see the influences of his tough father, Johnny Boy, who was a mob soldier as well as his uncle Junior Soprano. Since we will see a younger version of Tony, there is a good chance that we will get a deeper look into how his tough father and nagging mother went on to affect Tony’s anxiety attacks that make up a major part of ‘The Sopranos’. All this will take place in the backdrop of the racial riots. For those unaware, the riots and violence between Italian-Americans and African-Americans led to organized crime to a large extent. The origin point of the mob will be explored through the character of Dickie Moltisanti, the father of Christopher Moltisanti. While Dickie was mentioned in ‘The Sopranos’, he was never shown. However, he must have meant a lot to Tony, because Tony took his son, Christopher under his wing and was always forgiving of him even after Christopher found out his girlfriend was ratting out the mob to the FBI.
In the film, the character of Dickie will be played by Alessandro Nivola. Nivola is being joined by an impressive cast including Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Ray Liotta, Corey Stoll, Billy Magnussen, and John Magaro. However, fans were most excited to know that Michael Gandolfini would be playing the role of the younger Tony Soprano. This is primarily because his father, James Gandolfini, who passed away in 2013, delivered a fantastic performance that humanized the mobster Tony Soprano as he breathed life into the role in the show. Michael said after bagging the role, “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”.