It’s been 14 years since the most infamous fade to black in television history took place. The series finale of The Sopranos aired on June 10, 2007, and whether you loved the ambiguous ending or hated it, there’s no question that it left a gaping hole and a desperate need for more.
Well, that thirst for more New Jersey mob drama is about to be quenched. However, don’t expect any new revelations on the fate of our favorite boss. Sopranos creator David Chase has been clear in the past that he would not entertain the idea of a sequel.
He was, however, willing to go back in time.
Today, Warner Brothers released the new extended trailer for the feature-length film The Many Saints of Newark, a Sopranos prequel that has been in the works since 2018.
We’ve known for some time now, that the prequel would chronicle the rise of a young Tony Soprano, and that the 1960’s Newark riots would serve as the backdrop for the show.
We’ve also known that James Gandolfini’s 22-year-old real-life son Michael Gandolfini would portray the teenage version of the character his late father made so famous.
But now, we have a full-length trailer to unpack, and I’m all here for it!
The very first thing you notice in the trailer is Michael Gandolfini’s uncanny resemblance to his father. From the iconic big nose, to the not-so-Hollywood teeth. The voice, and even the way he tilts his head when asking “what’d you say?”. It’s perfect in every way.
Much was alluded to during The Sopranos about Tony in school. For the first time, we get a sneak peek into this time in his life. We see a teacher talking to a young Livia Soprano (Vera Farmiga) about her son’s IQ, something that Tony once talked about with Dr. Melfi. The teacher even refers to him as a “leader”, a moment of foreshadowing we all know comes to fruition.
Speaking of Livia, in just a few seconds of screen time, we get a feeling that the motherly issues that played such a central role in The Sopranos will be on full display throughout The Many Saints of Newark. Livia shows clear doubt and even audibly scoffs at the idea that her son may be smart or a leader. This view into the upbringing that defined an adult Tony will be fascinating to watch in “real-time”.
The thing I’m most excited about is the introduction of Dicky Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola). We know Dicky from The Sopranos as Chris Moltisanti’s father, and Tony’s idol growing up. However, Dicky was dead long before The Sopranos started. And unlike Tony’s father, we never even saw Dicky in flashbacks. It appears he will play a central role in this movie. We see him even egging a hesitant Tony on to steal some speakers. We may come to learn it was Dicky who morphed Tony into the powerful and ruthless boss he would later become.
Other well-known characters make brief appearances as well. If you look closely, you will catch a young Paulie Walnuts (Billy Magnussen) using his iconic pointer+pinky point. A middle-aged Junior Soprano (Corey Stoll) also makes an appearance.
However, in what appears to be a new addition to the family, Ray Liotta is seen a few times throughout the trailer. This casting only sends the anticipation higher, giving off powerful Goodfellas vibes.
All in all, the trailer is action-packed and dark with tons of nostalgia for Sopranos fans. It’s been a long time coming, but this 2:22 makes me think the wait will be well worth it. The Sopranos are back in a very big way!
The Many Saints of Newark will premier on October 1 in theaters as well as exclusive streaming on HBO MAX.
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