Family Business: Michael Gandolfini To Play Young Tony In ‘The Sopranos’ Prequel

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The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Michael Gandolfini, son of the late legend James Gandolfini, will continue Tony Soprano’s story in the upcoming Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark. The Sopranos creator David Chase and director Alan Taylor explained that Gandolfini went through an “extensive audition process.” The resemblance to his father, insight into the character, plus the “mastery of Tony’s mannerisms” definitely didn’t hurt the casting decision.

Gandolfini, who starred as Joey Dwyer on HBO’s The Deuce, said he was honored to continue his father’s legacy and is eager to step into the shoes of a younger version of the iconic character. The big news comes after the recent celebration of the 20th anniversary of the series where cast and crew paid tribute to the very missed elder Gandolfini.

Photo: HBO

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Back to the Beginning

The Many Saints of Newark will take the Soprano family back to the 1960s during the era of the Newark riots. The movie will center heavily on Tony’s father, Johnny Soprano, as well as young Tony.

Other characters from the series are expected to appear, though plot details are being kept under wraps. So far the prequel feature has brought Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, and Billy Magnussen on board. Alessandro Nivola was also cast as Dickie Moltisanti, the father of Michael Imperioli’s Christopher Moltisanti from the series.

Celebrate Good Times

On Jan. 9, 2019, Chase and The Sopranos cast and crew members reunited in New York City to celebrate the 20th anniversary of show’s series premiere. The HBO show ran from 1999-2007, winning five Golden Globes and 21 Emmy Awards along the way.

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During the celebration, the group participated in a panel at the SVA Theater in Manhattan where they shared fond memories of Gandolfini (who died in 2013). The group also commemorated their offscreen and onscreen antics while sharing their insights on the series. Looking back on The Sopranos, Chase said: “Going to work every day and working with these people, solving problems together, and having a place to go and having a lot of fun” was his happiest moment.

The full series of The Sopranos is available to stream on HBO Now and HBO Go.

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