Deadline – The Sopranos creator David Chase has found his Tony Soprano. Michael Gandolfini has been set to play the future New Jersey organized crime family boss in The Many Saints of Newark, the feature prequel to Chase’s groundbreaking TV series The Sopranos that Alan Taylor is directing for New Line.
If you read my blog on The Sopranos 20th Anniversary a week or two ago or in general follow entertainment even passingly, then you know a prequel movie is being made surrounding the world of the masterpiece HBO series. Basically, it will give us a glimpse into the yesteryear of the criminal world Tony Soprano lived in, the past that he resentfully regaled his guys of, craving for how things used to be. Or at least used to seem, to him.
The two key characters will be Dicky Moltisanti, Christopher’s late father and one of Tony’s idols, as well as Tony’s own Dad and hero, Johnny “Boy” Soprano. On the 20th anniversary, David Chase, the creator, revealed as a sort of gift to the fans and tribute to the since passed Gandolfini, that a young Tony Soprano would also be featured. They had even seemed to of already picked an actor to play him, although I can no longer find the kid’s name via a quick Google search.
That is because, as of yesterday, James Gandolfini’s own son, Michael, has been tapped to play the younger version of his Dad’s monumental role. I can’t imagine what it must feel like not just for Michael and the Gandolfini family, but also the cast of Sopranos, who never miss an opportunity to mention how much they miss their old friend, that the role is being assumed by the son of the man himself. They are keeping it in the family, as Tony himself would have wanted. Poetic justice indeed.
If I’m doing my math right, Michael would be about 20 now, having been on an 8th grade trip with his father when the elder Gandolfini suddenly died from a heart attack in 2013. This makes him a bit old for the role as I think the time period they were shooting for would have implied a pre-pubescent to teenage Tony. That said I just got done binging a Netflix show where actors and actresses as old as 26 were playing high school kids and I don’t think anyone really cares anymore.
To answer the other lingering question, yes Michael Gandolfini is an actor with actual credits to his name. He has a reoccurring role on “The Deuce”, the excellent David Simon/James Franco show about the early days of porn I’ve failed to keep up with. So the chops are there. He is the spitting image of his Dad. Add Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga, among others, to the list and we have ourselves a stud cast for this thing.
P.S – I didn’t say “fuck” once in this blog. 2019 is about growth kids.