One of the greatest scripted shows in television history is getting the feature film treatment. On Thursday, March 8, Deadline reported that a The Sopranos prequel movie is in the works, and so far, it sounds so intense. But hey, what else would you expect from a prequel to the show gave us moments like Adriana and Silvio's car ride? And moreover, what else would you expect from a Sopranos prequel that was co-written by the person behind the show?
Yes, the script, which is currently going by working title The Many Saints of Newark, was penned by Sopranos creator David Chase and Sopranos writer Lawrence Konner. According to Deadline, New Line has scooped up Chase and Konner's screenplay for the flick. As the New York Times reported, Chase will also be a producer on the film, as well as help choose the director.
From 1999 to 2007, the award-winning masterpiece that is The Sopranos ran on HBO. The fictional series, which followed a New Jersey-based mobster's life, boasted an incomparable ensemble that included the late James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco, and Michael Imperioli. Rolling Stone called the greatest TV show of all time. Esquire called it the greatest show of all time. The Guardian called it the best TV drama of all time. And in 2013, the Writers Guild of America declared it the best written TV series of all time. Suffice it to say, this prequel is following in some major footsteps.
In a statement to Deadline, Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich said,
"David is a masterful storyteller and we, along with our colleagues at HBO, are thrilled that he has decided to revisit, and enlarge, the Soprano universe in a feature film."
While the cast has yet to be determined, Deadline did share this exciting piece of information: Some of the characters from the HBO show will be featured in this prequel. The Many Saints of Newark is reportedly set during the Newark riots in the 1960s, a time when the African-American and Italian-American residents of the city were at daggers drawn. Considering the decade, it seems fair to think the movie could feature younger versions of characters like Junior and Livia.
There have been rumblings about a possible Sopranos prequel for a little while now. When Entertainment Weekly asked the series' showrunner back in June 2017 if he'd ever consider reopening the door to the Sopranos world, he shut down the possibility of rebooting the show. He told the publication, “I wouldn’t want to see that happen, no. Like recasting? … Everybody’s getting older, you can’t match people anymore.”
But then, he offered up a possible alternative that he'd be willing to consider. Chase told EW,
“I could conceive of maybe a prequel of The Sopranos. I could never see [a return of the show] except as a prequel.”
As EW pointed out, this answer wasn't an official announcement of any kind, and HBO said a prequel wasn't in production at that time. Chase was simply saying he wouldn't totally rule out the possibility of one day making a Sopranos prequel. But holy Carmela Soprano bangs, what a thing for him to put out into the ether.
Well, what do you know? It looks like "one day" is here. Chase's seemingly offhanded comment woke up Thursday morning and got itself a prequel announcement.
So uh, to anyone who's still holding out for a revival that breaks down exactly what it was that happened when the Sopranos series finale cued up the "Don't Stop Believin'" and faded to black: Maybe don't wait for that moment to come while watching The Many Saints of Newark.