Good news for fans of iconic HBO show “The Sopranos.” The creator of the drama series is working on a prequel to the show.
David Chase is ready to return to his New Jersey roots with “The Many Saints of Newark,” a feature film screenplay that was recently purchased by New Line and is the working title of “The Sopranos” prequel, according to Deadline. The movie is to be set during the 1967 riots in Newark at a time when the Italians and African-Americans living in Newark were at each other's throats.
"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," said Warner Bros Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich in an interview with Deadline.
The script was written by Chase and Lawrence Konner, whose previous credits include “The Sopranos” and “Boardwalk Empire” as well as the updated versions of “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “Planet of the Apes.” Chase will also serve as producer for the film and will select the movie's director.
Fans hoping to see the beloved Tony Soprano may not have their wishes fulfilled, since the star of the series James Gandolfini died in 2013. Other series regulars have also passed away in recent years, such as Frank Vincent, who played recurring character Phil Leotardo, died last year, according to Variety, and Nancy Marchard, who played Tony's mom Livia in the first season, died in 2000. However, the timeline of this feature would seem to indicate that Tony's father, Giovanni "Johnny Boy," may be featured. In the HBO series, which ran for six seasons from 1999-2007, the former captain of the Soprano crew was played in flashbacks by Joseph Siravo.
The movie prequel may also feature a younger version of Giovanni's wife Livia and Tony's uncle Junior, who was played by Dominic Chianese.
The series, which won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards, also starred Edie Falco, Steven Van Zandt, Jamie‑Lynn Sigler, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Steve Schirripa and Tony Sirico.
Last year, Chase teased the coming of a possible "The Sopranos" prequel in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
"I could conceive of maybe a prequel of 'The Sopranos'," he said. "I could never see [a return of the show] except as a prequel."
Well, despite HBO denying that a prequel was in the works then, it seems that the good news is that it's happening now. Despite none of the original cast likely to return, fans of the show likely can't wait for the prequel to hit theaters. No premiere date for the film has been set.
[Photo: The Sopranos/HBO]